The Dalai Lama Sinned, Says he’s ‘Deeply Sorry’ for Saying Female Successor Should be ‘More Attractive’

Dalai Lama (Credit: Getty Images)
Dalai Lama (Credit: Getty Images)

The Dalai Lama apologized Tuesday for saying in an interview last week than any female successor should be attractive.

“In responding to a question about whether his own reincarnation could be a woman, and suggesting that if she were she should be attractive, His Holiness genuinely meant no offence. He is deeply sorry that people have been hurt by what he said and offers his sincere apologies,” the Dalai Lama’s office said in a statement.

“His Holiness consistently emphasizes the need for people to connect with each other on a deeper human level, rather than getting caught up in preconceptions based on superficial appearances,” the statement continued.

The 83-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader was pressed by the BBC on a comment he made in 2015 that if he were followed by a female Dalai Lama, she would need to be physically appealing.

“If a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be more attractive,” he reportedly responded while laughing.

The Tuesday statement emphasized that the Dalai Lama opposes the objectification of women and supports gender equality; under his leadership, Tibetan nuns in exile have earned Geshe-ma degrees — a high level of scholarship previously reserved for male monks.

The Hill