You’re Not A Pretty Girl

It’s been noted in the past that most of us think we’re pretty attractive. And why wouldn’t we? To go through life feeling like we’re average at best would be a downer indeed.

Of course, we can’t all be 6′s, 7′s or 8′s. But the fact that lasting mental health dictates that we be a bit delusional doesn’t mean that we need the truth pointed out to us. No, I think that most of us, in our heart of hearts, know where we really stand. We just don’t want to think about it all the time.

Unfortunately for Hilary Swank, someone thought that it would be a good idea to make her not just think, but talk about how she ranks on the ever-present HotOrNot scale. In an interview with Los Angeles radio station KCRW, host Kim Masters engaged the actress in a conversation about roles for older women. According to CNN, the conversation then took this uncomfortable turn:

“I’m still young enough that I haven’t been feeling the brunt of that,” Swank said. “Certainly, you hear about it … and you do see it, although you also see a lot more roles I think opening up for older women. I mean, Meryl Streep seems to be dominating.”

“Oh, but she’s… the exception,” replied Masters. “She’s not a pretty girl, and you’re not either.”

I mean, I’m sorry, but not cool. Swank had no good way to recover. To proclaim that actually, she does think she’s a pretty girl, would have been suicide. I can see the headlines now: “Hillary Swank’s ego is bigger than her Oscar!” Or whatever. It’s not that acceptable for women to declare that they’re hot, even if they secretly think it, or even if they in fact are.

At the same time, that’s kind of insulting. Swank is in a business where looks count for quite a bit, and as I mentioned before, no one fucking wants to be reminded that they’re not the pretty girl — whether it’s true or not.

Anyway, in order to preserve her dignity, Hilary had to take it like a man (although standards of looks for men are of course more lenient…anyway…) and so she did:

Rather than being reduced to tears, the “Boys Don’t Cry” star joked, “Hey, what are you saying?!” then added, “Actually, I completely know what you’re saying. I play characters. I don’t play a movie star-looking type of person, which I prefer. I mean, who walks around looking like that anyway?”

What would you have done?

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    • Jane W.

      I would have smacked that girl silly. Seriously, kudos to Hilary.

      • Dove

        ha! My first thought was “I would have slowly raised up out of my seat, leaned over the table, slapped her in the mouth, then sat back down.”

    • jenergy

      Classy response!

    • Eileen

      That’s a really weird/awkward thing to say, but I think she answered it well. She’s not “a pretty girl” – she’s a woman who happens to be pretty.

    • Jamie Peck

      I think “the pretty girl” would’ve been better than “a pretty girl.” You know, with implied air quotes around it to denote that it’s more of a character trait reinforced by societal beauty standards than any objective measure of attractiveness. You know, like the Ani DiFranco song.

      • Lindsay Cross

        That song has been playing in my head ever since I read this headline. I’m so glad you referenced it!

    • jolieme

      So well answered -I would have prob went off on one along the lines of -”that’s not what people magazine says” ,”Oh really why am I the face of guerlain so?”,”Look in the mirror”-etc,etc-in other words major meltdown.

    • porkchop

      This actually happened to me once in college. I was hanging around with a new friend, and she told me she’s very competitive where men are concerned, which is why she doesn’t have pretty friends. I didn’t know how to save face, so I said, “Neither do I.” We’re actually still friends, so I guess we are both uggos?

      Oh well. People who are hung up on looks are suckers. I like Hilary’s answer but I’m still bitter against her for getting Annette Bening’s Oscars ;)

    • Mariana

      have you SEEN kim masters? she’s fuckin ugly. if i were Hilary, I’d ask Kim if she would like me to hand her a mirror so she could reformulate her statement. and then, you know, slap her across the face

    • B

      I think she probably took it how it was intended. Not that she isn’t pretty but that she doesn’t play pretty girls, so her career might be able to continue as she becomes an older woman (just like Meryl Streep’s). I would probably have missed that and took it as an insult and had a breakdown on air. But I think her response points more towards her having UBER confidence, that she immediately took the non offensive meaning. Or maybe it’s just that it would be kind of unheard of for an interviewer to say something like that so she quickly realized what Masters was actually trying to say.