Hilary Swank hated puberty.

The 46-year-old actress has revealed she felt ''objectified'' and tried to hide her femininity as she couldn't cope with how others reacted to her changing body.

She explained: ''I didn't like coming into puberty. I didn't like the feeling of being objectified and trivialised, and all of a sudden being looked at differently. It was all too much for me. I remember I started to dress in overalls with wool socks and clogs. I didn't want to be looked at. I kind of hid my curves and my femininity. You just don't have the proper tools at that young age to deal with the onset of all the stuff that surrounds that. I think it also helped me make certain choices as an actor to not continue to enable objectification and trivialisation, and I hands-down know looking back, that's why I chose a lot of the roles I did.''

Hilary praised her mother and female agents for helping her to cope with the ''rampant sexism'' in Hollywood.

She said: ''I always made my boundaries clear. And I certainly had a lot of types of meetings where it was like, 'You do this for me, I'll do that for you'. I'd just get up and walk out. I didn't care. And I didn't care what they said about me. I'm lucky that I had those women to help shape me because I know that's just not the case with a lot of people.

And Hilary also revealed she feels very maternal, despite not having any children of her own.

She told The Mail on Sunday's You magazine: ''I actually do want to talk about this. I feel that I'm very maternal in the people that I care for and all the sentient beings I have around me - my dogs, my horses or just the human beings.

''And I feel like so much of the time women who either choose not to or can't have children are somehow seen as not maternal or not mothering and it is a conversation that needs to be had, because... I've heard a lot of women say that they've been told, 'Oh, you're kind of a failure'. Or, you know, 'Didn't you come here to procreate?' There are so many different ways to procreate!

''Any type of mothering, any type of nurturing, is being a mother. I have a lot of children around me [through] exes who I was with for many years. For a long while I was with a man who had a son [her former agent John Campisi] and I helped raise him. And then after that there was a bunch of kids and I have tons of nieces and nephews.''