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Saturday 19 April  
Dutch women
Arwen van Grafhorst's picture
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dutch women are unfriendly and unfeminine

Published on : 15 October 2011 - 8:00am | By Arwen van Grafhorst (Photo: Uitgeverij Contact / Contact Publishers)
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“Ungainly, messy and unsociable.” These are a just a few of the 'qualities' of Dutch women, according to some foreigners. Luckily they are also described as intelligent, not out for money and – last but not least – attractive.

Journalist Santje Kramer asked 24 foreigners who live in the Netherlands for their views on Dutch women and collected her findings in a book: Het Poldermodel (The Polder Model – a reference to the Dutch term for concession politics).

Kramer interviewed men and women from all over the world, many of whom have lived in the Netherlands for many years. They often have - or have had - a Dutch partner and may, therefore, be "experts by experience".

Natural look
Most of them are positive about the way Dutch women look. They are tall, blond, good-looking and 'well-built'. They also have a natural look. “All those pretty girls on bikes, with their open and positive expression and wearing little make-up,” sighs an Australian.

One British person calls them the “most beautiful girls on Earth”. They are also reported to be easy to approach.

But there's criticism too. How can they let their appearance go the way they do? They don’t wear jewellery or enough make-up, or brush their hair. A Greek gasps: “If God gives them such beauty, they should do something with it”.

The ‘polder’ woman appears to prefer not to wear high heels, but picks cumbersome flat boots instead, even in combination with a dress or skirt. They prefer to look tough rather than feminine. So it is not surprising that chunky Australian Ugg shoes are so popular in the Netherlands, preferably combined with plain jeans and a T-shirt.

A Russian woman complains that she felt like a whore when she used to venture out in the Netherlands as she would in Russia - in a short skirt and high heels. Nowadays she conforms to Dutch dress sense.

In rural areas it is even worse. All the women have short hair because “it is so practical”. A Frenchman says he often wonders which one is the women when he stands behind a couple.

Free spirit
But the foreigners also have some nice things to say about Dutch women. They have a free spirit, are nice, not jealous and you can have a decent conversation with them because they are intelligent.

They are not golddiggers (something one Israeli claims cannot be said about his female compatriots). They are strong, do their own DIY and are not spoilt.

Rude and direct
But then there’s their behaviour … which has become dangerously similar to that of men, it seems. They are rude, dominant and far too direct. A Belgian film director remarks: “She wants to be the boss and prefers to work with small men.” People also complain that Dutch women do not know how to flirt, only work part-time and put their children on a pedestal. And another thing… sometimes they are just plain unfriendly.

No sympathy
The author of the book, Santje Kramer, does not have any sympathy for Dutch women. On the contrary, she completely agrees with the criticism. Dressed elegantly and wearing high heels herself, she says “The climate here does not help women dress more elegantly”. 

“We women go out on our bikes in all weathers. But in the summer you often see women wearing ugly cowboy boots with their short skirts.” She says it is not true that you can look tough and feminine at the same time.

Nevertheless she was shocked to hear from foreigners that Dutch women are so off-putting. “They criticise us for not being able to flirt. The book has made me pay attention to things like this and I see that people here never look at each other. Everyone stares at the ground. It is as if they want to say 'don’t bother me and I won’t bother you'.”

Perhaps it’s a sign of Dutch individualism – a subject you could fill another critical book with.




camerachap 13 April 2014 - 12:03pm / Netherlands

some photos of the Dutch obsession with cowboy boots

Anonymous 11 April 2014 - 4:24am

Blonde and tall doesnt make u pretty... is how you enhance and cutivate your beauty what makes u really pretty, im sorry but wearing clothes with no taste and washed face just doesnt work. Please take it as a helpful advice.
Speak out your mind....sure, but dont be rude or boss around just never forget u are a girl so dont shut down romantism and being feminine.
Maybe thats why dutch men prefer their girls from abroad.....and i just can say thank you very much....they are wonderful men !!! :-)

Anonymous 29 March 2014 - 3:29am

I think it is particularly sad to see so many women wearing ugly trousers. I mean where do they buy them from? Even really old bent women wear trousers here, and I wonder how they managed to squeeze into them. Paris just spoilt me silly . . . Sigh . . . women looking like women and with little make up too. Shame on every woman who denies her feminity in any way! Don't get me wrong please; I have pairs of trousers too. It's just that the unfeminine thing here is so bad I can almost tell a non-Dutch LADY from a Dutch woMAN. Fullstop!

Danielle de Jong 17 November 2013 - 1:16am / Netherlands

It's so much fun to read these comments as a Dutch women, you just have to understand that you any just basically judge on the things you've seen in Amsterdam. You have to understand that there are still lots of different cultures in Amsterdam and if you really want to see a pure Dutch girl, you shouldn't go to the cities but to the small villages in the east or north of the country. We are tall, have blonde hair blue eyes. And you're right about the comfortable clothes, we feel at our best when we have them and we feel confident. Also the thing is that we don't fee like put on high heels because we are tall by ourselves and some of us are afraid that we will be taller than most of people. Also you just have to see this makeup thing as a good thing, we don't need that much makeup to show ourselves, and if we could let ourselves better looking we will use it the right way. I think we're just very down to earth, Dutch men also don't like kissing a women with too much makeup. We like to show out natural selves and see if people will like us that way. One thing you just have to remember: DUTCH WOMEN LOVE FOREIGNERS. We will always be interested in them, more then we are in our Dutch men because our Dutch men can really be boring sometimes. And about that hard thing: we're just really straight to the point and we say what's on our mind. Dutch women don't want to be considered as weak, we are really proud of ourselves and feminity plays a big role in this, we show how independent we are and we will prove it to show you how hard we can be. One tip: don't take it personally. Just don't. Inside we're soft and we will show it to you if you can show us that you'll respect us and treat us the right way. Dutch women are really nice, you can have great talks with us and we just like to prove ourselves and we just like to be proud of our just have to know how we are, we're really not unkind or anything were just honest. I hope this made things clear and just ask me if there are still questions or anything like that.

emiliano 15 August 2013 - 2:19pm / netherlands

Yes, it's all true, dutch women simply suck, they are horrible, unfriendly, miseducated, arrogant, unfeminine and actually it's not true at all that they are not after money, actually that's all they really want.
ah i forgot, they are racist too.
Of course there are exceptions, but this is the average, horrible.
I understand why everyone turns gay here, i would have done the same if i would have grown up here.
Before if i would have to curse somebody i would wish "lawyers and medicines", now i just wish thme to meet a dutch woman and get married, if it's real hate also to have children with them :-)

Van Delft 19 July 2013 - 6:27am / Netherlands

Well.....i travelled a lot for my work and seen many different cultures,the main problem is that everybody only talks about AMSTERDAM like there is only 1 city or what ,if you tell people you are Dutch they first question ...AMSTERDAM ? so they have no idea for me,there is a hugh difference in cities and and lot of variety s but Maastricht,Groningen, Domburg ...all different,the former east Block countries when i worked there the woman were dressed more female,short ,skirts ,low tops, high heels, yes more sexy maybe or they wanna show they are woman? Dutch are more practical when it comes to weather and dont walk around in a slutty short tight dress and terrible white high heeled pumps like in cities in the UK ...all country's have their own dress code's , now i live 11 years in China and the girls dress up like dolls and hello kitty copy's ...BAD ?? i dont kow it makes me smile everyday and thats more important ...dont judge too fast ..Dutch are tall strong and independent so? whats the problem ...?

Anonymous 18 July 2013 - 9:16am

Laws oppressing people for being sexual should not have gotten passed.

Anonymous 18 July 2013 - 9:14am / U.S.

Prostitution would not even exist if we all could just live in peace,love and harmony instead of, discord,hatred and division which is what loving money does instead of one another. Harlotry exists because for over a million years women never really loved men they only cared about whats in their pockets instead of having actual relationships with them.

Anonymous 18 July 2013 - 5:38am

Dutch women seem pretty awesome to me! Very tall, casual dress and huge combat boots. Not at all like gold digging spoiled American women who like to go drinking three nights a week at age 30 with their girlfriends.

Anonymous 6 July 2013 - 2:27am / The Netherlands

You cant hate all the women in Holland if you have onlu been in Amsterdam. There are more rich women out there, so of course they are rude. Most people only come for te drugs and prostitutes, but when they arent looking for prostitutes they go to the normal women. We see tourists in Amsterdam as people who come here for sex and drugs.
You cant say what caracter a dutch woman has, because we are all different. We just dont like being used by tourists because they dont want to pay.

Artist 3 May 2013 - 8:54am

I agree and disagree with this post. I am residing in the amsterdam area. I am american andthough I can say that dutch women are a little bit better than america women. For me, having only been rejected by dutch women. They are obsessed over looks, being 'fit' and money. If a man doesnt look like a model they are not interested. They are someof the most superficial women I have ever met outside of LA. dutch women have only lied to me, led me on and let me know that I am ugly to them. Though all of which has hurt me deeply. But they do not care. They are cold and uncaring and I hate them all.

Expat 4 April 2013 - 11:17am / Engand

I totally agree with this! I have been living here for a while (got a Dutch fiance) and I get stared at when I go out in a dress and high heels. Dutch women tend to wear sloppy, masculine type clothes even when going out. I'm amazed Etos and other stores selling makeup stay in business. I have long hair, wear makeup and like to look feminine in dresses and skirts and pretty shoes. The Dutch women all look the same in their clumpy boots, trousers, unstyled messy hair and bland, makeup free faces. Makes me glad I'm not a Dutch man.

Simone Ira Gabrielle 25 September 2013 - 12:11pm / Nederland

wow that's weird, I have plenty of dresses, I have a lots of make up (however I don't make a barby doll of myself) and I have a loooottttt of high heels... (and I don't know any dutch women who doesn't have lots of dresses high heeled shoes and make up) where in the netherlands do you live??

Anonymous 17 July 2013 - 6:35pm

Please don't think like this.
Dutch women definitely like to dress feminine and put make-up on too.
Maybe not as much as others but it doesn't mean it isn't there.

Anonymous 5 April 2013 - 9:43am

This is a stupid response to a stupid article

Expat 12 April 2013 - 12:44pm / NL

You're the stupid one. Probably a Dutch woman who can't handle the truth.

Anonymous 26 March 2013 - 9:00pm / Netherlands

To be honest my self esteem was shattered in holland , yet in USA

Jason 17 March 2013 - 4:06pm / South Africa

Hmmm... some truth to this article but way too much generalization !! My "vriend" is very girly and impossibly pretty without having the big ego that normally accompanies such rare good looks, yes dutch girls are practical when it comes to dress sense and tend to shun make up - a good thing ( to a degree) BUT i have noticed that they are pretty bossy and have that western woman attitude of entitlement - it is their due but can lead to some dust ups !

Anonymous 2 March 2013 - 1:47am

In Holland it is simply not done to walk around with a plastered foundation face. High heels is not practical with the cobble stone streets.
And why would you walk around so overdone? Casual beauty is the norm in the Netherlands.
Sure some Dutch women can be rude but most are warm, cheery and practical women. Dutch women save their softer sides for their husbands and boyfriends so the tough bolster soft inside applies here.
In historical view this attitude was essential; When the men were out for years on sea the Dutch women had to keep the homestead safe. So soft women weren't usefull or could be easily seduced.
So hands off Dutch women!
Try understanding the culture and history before you critisize.

dutchguy 5 January 2013 - 3:28pm

most of the people here are very wrong about dutch women
a dutch woman is like ANY OTHER european woman
some use make up, others use very little, some are easy , others are difficult etc etc etc
but dutch women are more down to earth, and they dont spend hours and hours in a beauty salon to look like a barbie doll

Anonymous 5 October 2013 - 4:48pm / Netherlands

In fact the fact that they dont spend hours in the beauty salon is a testament to how arrogant they are, given their own superficial obsessions with model-like good looking and super fit men, and their shutting down of the rest.

Husband of Dutch Woman 1 January 2013 - 4:17pm / United States

I was scratching my head straining to understand what I was seeing in my wife of one year. A nice dutch girl who closely matched the adjectives used here: Messy, unsociable, ungainly and doesn't often brush her hair.
My jaw hit the table because I thought this was all in my head.
We had an argument last night about sex because she appears to have little interest in sex and rarely shows me affection, especially in bed together where it matters in a relationship.
She plainly didn't seem to understand how lonely and unaffectionate it really is to have sex with a person like that.
Thanks for this article!

Jaimie 10 October 2013 - 2:01am / Canada

Maybe you have poor hygiene.

Soopabl 22 December 2012 - 3:37am / Earth

People probably just talk about this with what they feel about these girls, but if a girl lacks of femininity, she could be less attractive for most men if not all men, I don't like when women use make-up, if she's pretty without it, then that girl is an ideal partner in a physical way, that's good about Dutch women.

I don't see a problem if girls don't show a little of skin as long as they look like girls. Where I live, the climate is mostly cold, so everybody has their bodies all covered with clothes, but women dress and look like women.

Femininity is important for women, it's their gift, something they can only have and delight the world with it. Sorry, but only an insecure and weak man feels attracted for aggressive and/or dominating women, no, I'm not saying Dutch women are like that, I'm referring to women in general.

Anonymous 22 August 2012 - 11:28pm / Ireland

interesting article...I have to say maybe they don't know how to flirt, for example a girl working in a nightclub NOT a stripclub, asked me "Did I like this kind of music...?" and I answered her, and I waited but that was pretty much that. In my experience this is not chatting up, but after the brief conversation I realised what she may have been attempting, sort of. Strange techniques that women here offer, which I found was often more dependent on men approaching women, and women playing very hard to get, unless you go into a younger student night, it could be more liberal and uninhibited.

Women there are very beautiful, and a natural beauty for sure, they didn;t need to wear loads of makeup or fancy clothes to look nice. Perhaps don't often match it with nice or approachable personality...still, I didn't spend long in the country and my experience was somewhat limited.

waltermitty213 10 May 2012 - 4:35pm / scotland

i lived in the netherlands last year and im going back this year,the women loved me,i loved them,they are amazing.FACT .. the men were friendly i made some great friends for life over there and it was so chilled out and different,i loved it .. but bk to the women OH EMM GEEHEEEEE they are abso fabso over there,everytime i went out on the pull.i pulled! but then again scottish people are welcoming and friendly so i think its you guys that need to ask yourselves "whats wrong with me?" coz for me it was like dying and waking up in beautiful dutch women heaven,cant wait to go back :)

Anonymous 24 April 2012 - 1:16am / united kingdom


Anonymous 17 April 2012 - 12:45pm

I am married to a Dutch guy. he has slept around a lot. The women there are an easy lay. He has picked many women from bars and had one night stands. The Dutch women are not too clean, are bossy and have emasculated the men.

Anonymous 29 December 2011 - 2:08am

Sounds like the perfect women on Earth live in NL. Why you hatin' people?

Ervanio 15 December 2011 - 11:17pm / Holland

Dutch Women go to office whitout make up in jeans and knitten sweaters. also in local politics were the men are in suits you see women whit absolute no dress sense at all! they are representing voters in jeans and jumpers. they have in general rough attitudes and are very unfriendly and afraid of things out of the box, they make me sad

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