Has Niantic ever gave a reason for the limited avatar customization?
So, before the friends feature was added to PoGo the avatar issue really didn't bother me that much – I couldn't see anyone else so I didn't think about it. It was kind of a bummer being 'generic ambiguous age dude', but it wasn't a fault. Scrolling through my friends list though now, pretty much everyone looks identical, short of a few minor clothing differences. Without username/nickname, I wouldn't know the difference between anyone by sight.
Given the history of the pokemon games and the variety of trainers – from age, type style, size – featured in them, this seems like like something sorely missing from PoGo… plus you know, the money they could rake in in doing that.
I get that PoGo is about the pokemon, but in adding more social features, it would be nice for it be more representative of the trainers.