Many people, races, groups, have stereotypes linked to them. Its just a sign that even though we have come so far, we are still way behind when it comes to understanding the people and cultures we come face to face with (read: beard to beard with) on a daily basis.
Now, the beard is getting a bad rap, and one of the stories that caught my attention is about a missing british canoeist who grew a beard as a disguise. According to news reports, he had hidden in the family home for 3 years when it was assumed that he had perished in a canoeing accident in the North Sea. The reports stated that life insurance and work benefits were paid to the man's wife, which was a motive behind the deception.
While there have been reports in the media about the beard becoming a fashionable trend again, it still goes to show that the stereotype of the beard as a disguise, or something else persists.