We're all aware that Tolkien races and ideas were a big inspiration for early DnD, no one is denying that, and the lingering influences of that can be found even today when you look at something like the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, which still talks about Elves' ancestral home being "in the West" and how "going into the West" is an Elf euphemism for dying.
But I'm strongly of the opinion that DnD should have shed all those lingering effects by now. If the lawsuit from the Tolkien estate weren't enough to shake people off that path, then consider the amount of changes that the various Tolkien-inspired races have gone through, and the fact that they now barely resemble their inspirational ancestors. Given how much it has changed, it seems silly to keep such a tight grip on those ties back, which now don't make a lot of sense. To me, it doesn't matter how Hobbits are "supposed" to look, because DnD Halflings aren't Tolkien Hobbits.
In fact, it's in WoTC best interest to distance themselves from Tolkien, because I'm sure they don't want another lawsuit over Hobbits.
EDIT Forgot to mention. I don't like the exaggerated features on Halflings. I think it should be a Gnome thing, but not as much as it's been done here, it's too exaggerated, almost bobble-head. That is supposed to be a living creature, not a funko-pop.