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?