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Thursday 18 December  
Dutch women
Arwen van Grafhorst's picture
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dutch women are unfriendly and unfeminine

Published on : 15 October 2011 - 7:00am | 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.




Mark123 17 December 2014 - 2:20pm

I disagree.
I've spent in Netherlands about six month in one of the universities.
They are different, true.
Still, I disagree that they are rude.
Girls are girls everywhere on this planet and basically are running by same rules..
I'd say it was even easier for me to communicate and mate with dutch girls than it is in my own country.
Population is generally healthier in Netherlands than it is in UK for instance or Germany. Most of girls are slim, tall, kind of blond and yes - they are leaning towards feminism... which is always a downside.
Still, dutch are more open to foreigners than Irish let say.
I personally found them quite feminine, once you got inside.
As everywhere around, dutch girls are complaining about problems with their relationships.

My advice, just go out and do your thing..
Nothing will change if you will just stare on them..

Anonymous 10 December 2014 - 10:15am / United Kingdom

I personally think all the negative comments about Dutch women are either made by jealous plain women, or men who prefer Asian women who can be bossed about eg Philippines....there are beautiful well groomed Dutch women too, and we are naturally attractive due to our facial features lol, if you don't like us don't live in Holland or bother to come hunting for easy prey! Look elsewhere

Anonymous 4 December 2014 - 12:40am / Netherlands

I'm going to limit my scope to late thirties Amsterdamse single women. Those who know my Dutch boyfriend have insulted me to my face (but before I could speak any Dutch so therefore couldn't understand) looking perplexed when my bf said I was 29 and replying that I must be at least 40. I've never heard this before and think it's absolute rubbish but even if it is true- it's not the type of thing one says upon meeting their friend's new girlfriend. Other women have gone out of their way to put their hands all over him and try to mock me. Some just absolutely ignore me while I try to be friendly. Still others make snide remarks trying to point to infidelities during the time we were formerly long distance (which may or may not be true, but we had had an open relationship at that point). The underlying message seems to be go home bitch, we haven't got many eggs left and you're not gonna take away one of our men. So yes. I can agree with dominating, rude and masculine. And WHAT is with the colored leggings?!?

Anonymous 10 July 2014 - 7:28am / holland

Most Dutch women are like man...short hair and the way they act are like man to. Dutch women complains about everything. Its all about them self! me!! Many women are easy with relationship and when they are 30 ..they have had more then 10 relationship! I live in Holland and i don't like most of Dutch women.

Anonymous 10 December 2014 - 10:08am / United Kingdom

Then leave Holland and sod off to where you came from if you don't like the women there! I hate idiots who live in other countries then spend time hating the ppl who were born there. How dare you?

Anonymous 27 June 2014 - 9:29am

It's funny that especially men respond so badly to Dutch women. I'm Dutch and my fiancee is Italian.

Anonymous 27 June 2014 - 9:44am

Sorry I thought I couldn't click the Save-button because it's grey. Anyway my fiancee is Italian and I'm Dutch. He's been with Dominican, Croatian, Slovakian and Polish girls. And he says I'm definitely the most feminine of all the girls he's been with. And the best in bed. And the most caring, loving one. Even when I'm just relaxing I try to look glamorous, with expensive tracksuits with glitter and big brand logos, lots of makeup and jewellery and perfect hair. I work really hard to have a hot body but my love prefers a bit of meat on my bones, so I have really big breasts and a good butt compared to how I looked when I met him (I was really skinny). No Dutch guy has ever appreciated my efforts to look good, wearing pretty dresses and high heels. Or my efforts to be a good housewife. I have only been with two men in my life (I'm 22) but the Dutch guys I went out with have always picked some hipster student girl over me. So Dutch guys complain about Dutch women but forget to take a good look at themselves. Most Dutch boys my age look like hipsters or stupid hiphop fans, and older Dutch guys of my fiancee's age (he's 30) look horrible with big bellies and unkempt hair and clothes. The ones that actually do make an effort usually have some smart career woman on their arm, the kind of woman that works 60 hours a week and still goes to the gym, but neglects her man and their house. I'm not that smart, I work at a factory and thank God my fiancee loves me how I am; not that smart, but making an effort to look sexy for him and being kind and gentle to him. So Dutch guys, if you want your woman to look and act like a woman, make her feel like a woman and stop looking like a truck driver. And you pick those unfeminine women yourselves, and you turn 40, divorce her because of the very reasons you married her and then find some 20-year-old mail order bride to keep your bed warm. Stop complaining, all of you Dutch guys have preferred those manly chicks over the pretty born-to-be housewives yourselves.

radwan 6 August 2014 - 2:49pm / libya


Thank you dear to contact

Can you communicate with us

Please reply to Emile

Anonymous 30 June 2014 - 1:56pm

There is nothing wrong in being a career person and take care of your money and your life yourself (men do it a lot and no one complains). And it is even better if you have a nice boyfriend who loves you, even if you are not his housemaid. This I would say is a good signal that you are loved, not used.
Anyway, get over your jealousy girl, it is very sad to live watching others and not appreciating what you have.

camerachap 13 April 2014 - 11:03am / Netherlands

some photos of the Dutch obsession with cowboy boots

Anonymous 11 April 2014 - 3:24am

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 10 December 2014 - 10:10am / United Kingdom

And where are you from? Philippines I bet.......say no more

Anonymous 29 March 2014 - 2:29am

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 - 12:16am / 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.

Murali 10 September 2014 - 9:46am / India

I'm currently living in Netherlands for the past 1.5 years,I'm genuinely interested in dutch people since I respect your individualism and self confidence but I can't take it when you say dutch guys prefer foreigners more than dutch men.In my experience I have dated dutch girls and I find dutch women are simply not there yet for an international affair (resons -they think we are poor but man I would like to say I pay 50000 euro for my masters.I would also like to say that they think anyone brown is from a thirld world country but to be honest I have travelled to a lot of countries and I had never had this generalization.

emiliano 15 August 2013 - 1:19pm / 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 :-)

Anonymous 14 July 2014 - 12:59am / Nederland

How ridiculous. You are accusing that dutch woman are horrible, unfriendly, miseducated, arrogant, unfeminine and even racist, doesn't that make you a racist? And you have had children with dutch woman too?
I don't reconize anything of what you're saying to almost all the dutch woman i ever met. My friends are well educated, sweet, take care of their looks and body and look feminine and you appear to be very frustrated.. Bad experience?

Anonymous 10 July 2014 - 7:31am

true but sad!

Van Delft 19 July 2013 - 5:27am / 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 - 8:16am

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

Anonymous 18 July 2013 - 8:14am / 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 - 4:38am

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 - 1:27am / 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 - 7:54am

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 - 10:17am / 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 - 11:11am / 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 - 5:35pm

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 - 8:43am

This is a stupid response to a stupid article

Anonymous 10 July 2014 - 7:34am

yes..a dutch women who again act like a man! SAD!

Expat 12 April 2013 - 11:44am / NL

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

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