Hilary Swank believes that the best way for women to overcome sexism is to focus on their own success and block out the external voices feeding their doubt.
“Women are constantly objectified and trivialized,” Swank said in an interview with HuffPost Live. “I think we get caught up in the idea that if we don’t look a certain way, we won’t be loved. If we don’t act a certain way, we won’t be successful.”
The Oscar-winning actress explained that the best way for women to support each other is to be an example and rise above those external pressures. Women can’t let their fears or the expectations of society stop them from reaching their goals and finding success, she said.
“Some women might say, ‘I want to be an entrepreneur.’ Some women might say, ‘I want to run this charity group.’ Some might say, ‘I want to be a mom.’ Whatever that is for you, and whatever form that takes, you have to take a step forward into that and just don’t be afraid,” Swank said.
But Swank went on to say that those fears don’t just apply to women. Men are often subject to the same kind of scrutiny.
“I think we all have our fears of what we’re supposed to be or how we’re supposed to act,” she said. “It’s quieting those voices and saying, ‘That’s not going to define me.'”