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Reuters/Darren Staples
Cheeky.

The Dalai Lama says any female successor would have to be “very attractive”

By Aamna Mohdin

When asked during an interview with the BBC if he asked his successor could be female, the Dalai Lama answered yes and said the “the female biologically [has] more potential to show affection… and compassion.”

Unfortunately, the spiritual leader of the Buddhist faith—who has previously described himself as a feminist—followed up with this:

Dalai Lama: Therefore, you see now today’s world, lots of trouble. I think females should take more important roles. And then I told the reporter [in Paris who had once asked him about a female Dalai Lama] if a female Dalai Lama comes, their face… should be very attractive.

Reporter: So you can only have a female Dalai Lama if they’re very attractive? Is that what you’re saying?

Dalai Lama: I mean, if female Dalai Lama come, then that female must be very attractive, otherwise not much use.

Reporter: Really? You’re joking I’m assuming? Or you’re not joking?

Dalai Lama: No, true!

Unsurprisingly, feminists were not happy. Some took the to Twitter to express their outrage, while Nicole Rowe, spokeswoman for Progressive Women, told The Guardian: “While we’re pleased to hear the Dalai Lama is in favour of the possibility of a female Dalai Lama, we’re surprised and greatly disappointed that a man of such compassion and wisdom could express such a retrograde opinion.”

The Dalai Lama had previously caused a stir when he said he could be reincarnated as a “mischievous blonde woman. ” Even then, he insisted, “her face must be very attractive” or “nobody pay much attention.” Still, many seems unfazed as thousands retweeted his call for a better world.