I was offended! There was this wildly defamatory rumor spreading around the internets that claimed that beards were disgusting collections of contagious bacteria. This is sort of not true! It turns out that the source was a news report that swabbed a few faces and found fecal bacteria, and squawked about it without context. Reality is that you can find bacteria like that everywhere, even on smooth-faced people. This was not news.
But it is true that a beard expands the amount of surface area on which bacteria can lurk, so it is a fair cop that a survey would find more there. But if you’re going to be a germophobe about beards, you should also be freaking out about head hair, pubic hair, and hair anywhere else. Sneer at my beard, and you must also despise long hair on women.