Let me know if this problem persists for you. It sounds very much like another issue someone is having, and there might be more to this than the approval process for a new avatar.
Its been roughly two days since I requested the change and still nothing. I was thinking of deleting it completely, waiting two days, and then uploading a new image to see if that works. I really appreciate any help you can give me but I want to stress this is not a huge concern and it would kill me if I thought anyone was losing any sleep trying to solve this problem.