Cross cultural studies show that women see men with thicker and longer beards to be more masculine and virile and yet still show an over-whelming preference for the slightly more than 5 o'clock shadow look, when choosing who they would actually "date".
Clean shaven not so much.
Most dudes in the US who convert to Orthodoxy and grow out a beard are LARPing. If that statement bothers you, then it is definitely true for you.
My facial hair is determined by work conditions, season, and degree of care about what I look like.
In other words, I am a man.