Mask enforcement while having a beard


I have noticed that I've far less likely to be asked to wear a mask in public when I have a beard. The bigger the beard, the better. The last time I shaved the beard, it seemed to be open season on everyone in the shops calling me out, and now that my beard is long enough, I can shop without a mask mostly unmolested after passing the front guard. I feel like it's a magic power. It has happened a couple times now where a non-bearded friend with me was told to put on a mask while nothing was said to me.

Then again, I am only a sample size of one. So have any bearded members noticed this correlation? My beard is currently at the annoying stage of length, and I rather get rid of it, but like Samson, I don't want to lose any power.
I haven't shaved since I left in early December for a religious pilgrimage. I have yet to shave since returning to the outside world. Not to sound prideful, but I've received a lot of positive feedback on my beard and haven't been hassled at all about face coverings. Sometimes I wear a wool neck gaiter slightly up over my mouth in order to enter an establishment requiring face coverings, but things are different with the beard and I believe it's because I now look much older and more intimidating in a biker-ish way. Even in the past I didn't have many of issues, primarily because of how I carry myself in addition to my attire consisting of black clothing and 10" leather combat boots -- plus quasi-concealed carry that was deliberately made noticeable.