The Dalai Lama isn't against a woman successor, but thinks she should be physically attractive. "If a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be more attractive," the Dalai Lama tells the BBC. Otherwise, he said, "People, I think prefer, not see her, that face." The spiritual leader made a similar point in 2015, CBS News notes, when he said a female Dalai Lama who was not attractive would be of "not much use." When asked this time if "who you are inside" isn't what counts, he said: "Real beauty is inner beauty, that's true. But we're human beings. I think the appearance is also important."
That sparked criticism and cancelations online, from tweeters including comedian Sarah Silverman. Many called it another in a line of 2019 disappointments. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Dalai Lama, who turns 84 this week, is known for his message of tolerance. It's not clear whether he'll get a successor at all, notes CNN. The 14th Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since his self-imposed exile from Tibet in 1959, has said in the past that the decision whether to continue the institution is "up to the Tibetan people." (Read more Dalai Lama stories.)