If I may be so bold, this is also true of Christian Statuary...I mean, whoever heard of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Hebrew girl?
I think people go with what is familiar.
This is not such a controversial issue in Buddhism, given that we actually really do not have any idea what the Buddha looked like (though of course, knowing what we do about the indigenous inhabitants of the area, we could make a relatively shrewd guess) and that he really wasn't too keen on images being made of him anyway.
As far as I am given to understand.
So, strictly speaking, these images/statues, are not of the Buddha.
They're of our imaginative notion of the Buddha.
They're representative, not figurative.