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The Dalai Lama Feels His Female Successor Has to Be Attractive or There’s “Not Much Use”

​He also said that people would not like to see a “dead face” and that women should “spend money on makeup”.
Shamani Joshi
Mumbai, IN
Dalai Lama says woman successor should be attractive
Photo: U.S. Mission/Eric Bridiers/Flickr

The Dalai Lama has to be one of the chillest spiritual leaders, known for advocating a policy of peace and non-violence and finding joy in the simpler aspects of life. So it’s no surprise that people were shook when in a recent interview, the exiled Tibetan leader said that if his reincarnation was to be a woman, she would have to be attractive or there was “not much use”.

“If a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be more attractive,” he told BBC. This came up when he was questioned about similar comments he had made back in a 2015 interview, where he had said that if there was to be a female version of him, her face would have to be attractive.


While he should have ideally apologised for making that sexist comment even back then, he instead scrunched up his face and said that people would not like to see a “dead face” and felt that women should “spend money on makeup”.

Tibetan Buddhists believe the 14th Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of his predecessors, believing them to be human manifestations of the Bodhisattva (Buddha) of compassion, who chose to reincarnate to serve the people. While this Dalai Lama is okay with his future successor being a female, something that has never happened before, he feels that she would need to look a certain way or "then people, I think, prefer not see … that face."

Since the Dalai Lama is revered and regarded as one of the holiest beings in the world, it’s kind of unnerving to hear him say such things. And while he maintains that “Real beauty is inner beauty,” he also feels that “appearance is also important.”

He made these controversial comments in the same interview where he said the US President Donald Trump lacked “moral principle”, while adding that he supported women’s rights and equal pay at the workplace. Would that be determined by how these women look as well?

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