We know The Dude sports a goatee, but he's so damn unflappable and so damn cool that we're making an exception. He grew a beard before it was cool. He was going against the grain of society yet he still pulled it off with ease. This is why he receives the inaugural Beard of the Week award and it also poses the question, "Which comes first, confidence or the beard?"
There's little question it takes some confidence to grow a beard. If one is too self-conscious, they'll avoid the in-between stage in fear it looks raggedy and patchier than the quilt your grandmother sewed you for your kindergarten graduation. Or maybe they're fearful of the school/workplace dress code. Whatever the case is, growing a beard takes the willingness to experiment and go against the norm.
On the other hand, have you ever heard someone say they feel more confident in a suit? They speak louder and walk taller all because of the confidence they get from what they're wearing. In the same vein, sporting a beard begets confidence. A beard makes one look older, more mature, and well-respected. Even the person in the mirror knows it.
In conclusion, the only thing we've determined is Beard=Confidence. And sure. We could have said Jeff Bridges took the title this week but The Dude has become bigger than the actor himself.