LONDON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- If whoever succeeds the Dalai Lama as Tibetan spiritual leader is a woman, she better be good looking. That's the message he delivered in an interview with the BBC on Tuesday.
The Dalai Lama made the remarks during his nine-day visit to London.
When a BBC News reporter asked if he believes a woman could someday replace him, the spiritual leader said yes -- with one condition.
"If it is a female, the face should be very attractive," the 80-year-old Dalai Lama replied.
He did not elaborate on the remark, but he did say he was entirely serious.
"It's true," he said to the BBC interviewer.
The Dalai Lama supported the remark as part of something he said two years ago, that a female Dalai Lama would have "biologically more potential to show affection and compassion."
The spiritual leader, who considers himself a feminist, has drawn criticism from women's rights groups and social media observers since making the surprising comment.
"You'd think that as someone who's all about learning and enlightenment he'd have figured a few things out," read one posting on the feminist blog Jezebel.com.