The Dalai Lama has further cemented his beliefs that a female successor should be ‘attractive’ explaining that people would not want to look at her face.
The religious leader made the controversial comments during a recent interview with the BBC at his home in northern India.
Foreign correspondent, Rajini Vaidyanatha, questioned him on divisive remarks he made back in 2015, where he claimed that a female successor would need to be ‘very, very attractive’ - otherwise, she would be ‘not much use’.
But the 83-year-old - who is the 14th man to take on the role as the Dalai Lama - did not apologise and instead, reiterated his previous views.
“If a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be more attractive,” he stated.
The 83-year-old then screwed up his mouth and added, “People would prefer not to see that face.”
This was perhaps the most surprising moment in the interview. I asked the Dalai Lama if he stood by his earlier comment that if his successor was female, she should be attractive.— Rajini Vaidyanathan (@BBCRajiniV) June 27, 2019
He said he did. Watch here:#DalaiLama #BBCDalaiLama. pic.twitter.com/QAy0EFDZTT
If that wasn’t enough to ruffle a few social media feathers, he then went on to suggest a make-up budget to help out a future female successor.
“I think there’s an opportunity to ask whether [a female successor] can spend some money on make-up,” he continued.
“A lot of people would say that’s objectifying women,” Vaidyanatha replied. “It’s about who you are inside, isn’t it?”
The Dalai Lama agreed, before adding: “But we’re human beings... I think appearance is also important.”
Understandably, a number of Twitter users were less than impressed with his controversial views, and high-profile celebrities have added their voices to the debate.
The Good Place actress, and body positivity advocate Jameela Jamil shared news of the comments along with a wry comment.
“Says supermodel Dalai Lama...” she wrote.
Celebrity pal Kate Beckinsale also weighed in with a questionable remark, comparing the 83-year-old to a ‘woke turtle’.
Comedian Sarah Silverman added her voice to the debate, tweeting a very doom and gloom response.
“The Dalai Lama said a female successor would have to be hot. We are so far past seven in the seals of the apocalypse department,” she wrote.
Miscommunication or misogyny?
While some argue the comments were a joke, others say the spiritual leader is doubling down on a long-held stance.
“Why a female leader has to tick the attractive box I’ll never understand, one tweeted. “This goes the same for female political leaders too.”
“He’s said this a couple of times now, it’s not an off-the-cuff response,” a second added. “He feels that people respond more to a pretty face sending a message, it’s both misogynistic and generally true albeit harsh.”
Why a female leader has to tick the attractive box I’ll never understand. 🤷🏻♀️This goes the same for female political leaders too— Cash Money (@kwtigergirl) June 28, 2019
So this is where I disagree with the Dalai Lama. We must look at a woman’s soul not her face.— 🌜LunaDeLaCasa🌛 (@creolepepper) June 27, 2019
He's said this a couple of times now, it's not an off-the-cuff response. He feels that people respond more to a pretty face sending a message, it's both misogynistic and generally true, albeit harsh. #prettyface— Andrea (@Andrea_EE2) June 28, 2019
Ughhhhh the patriarchy even got the DL— jennyparrott (@jennyparrott) June 27, 2019
Others insisted the Dalai Lama was joking.
“He’s clearly having a laugh here,” one wrote.
Another agreed, tweeting: “I think the interviewer was missing his point to try and hammer home her interpretation to what he was saying. This is where trouble begins.”
He is right. If you are a nasty person on the inside then it will show on your face and demeanour.— Lo Lee Phan (@LoLeePhan1) June 27, 2019
I think the interviewer was missing his point to try and hammer home her interpretation of what he said.
She wasn't listening to what he was saying.
That is where trouble begins.
When he does the impression of the dead faced woman 😂😂 he’s clearly having a laugh here— Natalie B (@hardtochase) June 28, 2019
There was some room for humour however, as Twitter users began predicting the next Dalai Lama.
Though his views on a female successor weren’t the only headline-gracing comments he made during the interview.
On the topic of US President Donald Trump, he said that the 73-year-old has a “lack of moral principle”.
With additional reporting by Danielle Fowler