Dalai Lama Says Any Female Successor Would Need To Be 'Attractive'

Sophie Gallagher

Thought you’d heard enough bad takes for this week? Well, hold on to your hats because you just might have missed the Dalai Lama sharing his views on the qualities needed in any would-be female successor to his role.

For someone meant to embody enlightenment (he didn’t get to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner for nothing) you’d think he’d be looking for a CV with intelligence, spirituality and a commitment to improving our planet.

And perhaps he is, in a male candidate. But if you’ve got a vagina the Dalai Lama believes your looks might be relevant to the job spec, too. 

In a BBC interview the Buddhist spiritual leader reaffirmed controversial comments he first made in 2015, in which he stated if a woman were to become the next Dalai Lama, she would have to be “very attractive” or else she wouldn’t be much use to the cause.

That’s right, not only did he make the comments in the first place but after having four years to reflect he decided to double down.

The soon-to-be 84 year old told the BBC’s South Asia correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan that if a woman was unattractive: “I think, [people would] prefer not [to] see her, that face.” 

Vaidyanathan did explain that his words could be seen as objectifying women, before asking whether the role should be about who a person is on the inside.

“Yes, I think both,” the Dalai Lama replied.

He then went on to criticise Donald Trump for his lack moral principles. Yes, the Dalai Lama may have spent 60 years in exile, but that is hardly an excuse.

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