My old forum software has a feature where a default set of many avatars (uploaded by the admin, of course) is available for choosing by members. Since many people are not familiar with image manipulations, this can be a good idea. I've noticed that some of our members use it.
It would probably be easy to implement - so here is the suggestion!
Of course, no doesn't always mean no forever, so hopefully he will keep it in the suggestions for some future time.
It would seem that multiple generics are not more confusing than a set of just three (gender)....but, in any case, this is far down the list of what he should spend his time on unless the spirit hits him (or an add-on designer, but much better as core so upgrades are not needed and conflicts resolved).