The Dalai Lama has reiterated his belief that a female successor would have to be “attractive”, saying that if she isn’t, people would not want to look at her face.
The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism made his comments during a recent interview at his residence in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. During the interview, the Dalai Lama was questioned about comments he made in 2015, when he said that a female successor would need to be “very, very attractive”, as otherwise she would be “not much use”.
The soon-to-be 84-year-old was asked whether he understood that his statement could be perceived as offensive to women. “If female Dalai Lama comes, then she should be more attractive,” the Dalai Lama responded, reaffirming his previously-stated belief. BBC News South Asia correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan then added that the faith leader’s statement could be seen as objectifying women, before asking whether taking on the mantle of the Dalai Lama should be about who a person is on the inside. “Yes, I think both,” the Dalai Lama replied.
Several people expressed their disappointment in the Dalai Lama’s comments about the appearance of a hypothetical female successor. “Sounds like the same old double standard that’s been in place for centuries. Males can rise to power as ugly toads, but a woman must possess beauty and charm,” one person tweeted.
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