Jessica Gomes On Why She's Never Felt More Empowered to Put Herself Out There

Jessica Gomes Has Never Felt More Empowered

The Aussie model explains why

Jessica Gomes is full of energy. Even after a full five hours of non-stop posing, jumping and juggling heavy fitness props at our Sydney shoot, she’s still buzzing: chatting to the crew, offering to take more shots. It’s clear she’s totally at home in front of a camera but, after a decade as one of Australia’s most successful models, you’d expect no less.

Not only has the model, actor and all-round legend worked with brands like Garnier, Victoria’s Secret and DKNY, she was a David Jones Ambassador and famously appeared in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue eight times. Oh, and she’s also acted alongside Hollywood heavyweights Bruce Willis and Owen Wilson.

Most recently, she was a surprise wild card on Channel Seven’s Dancing with the Stars, where she channelled that trademark energy into every routine. And while most of us are still reeling from the events of last year, the 35-year-old Aussie, who has a Portuguese and Chinese/Singaporean heritage, is just happy to be back home after a decade living in the States.

“It was a big decision. I’ve been based in LA for about 10 years, but I’m so glad I made that decision because being in Australia at the moment is incredible. Covid has changed all our lives and the world forever in a way,” she tells Women’s Health. “Australians, in general, are just really easygoing and pretty hard-working and positive. And Americans love that. We take ourselves seriously, but not too seriously; somehow we’ve been able to find that balance. And I think Australia still is quite an exotic place. I mean, it’s a big island far away from everything yet we still connect culturally. That really works in Hollywood.”

Yet it hasn’t always been sunshine and roses Down Under. Gomes was compelled to speak up about her own experiences with racism in a powerful Instagram post in March. 

“I mean, I’ve been talking about racism for a really long time. I was actually quite scared to do that post though because I’ve never shown myself so vulnerable in that way before. But I felt like I needed to for my mum, for my ancestors. To see what was going on with the elderly in the Asian community here and overseas really broke my heart, because I’ve seen my mother going through her own racism experiences when I was little in Perth, and I saw the way it affected her. So for me, I felt it was my time to be able to stand up for my mum and my family. To call out the things that I’ve seen and to really voice my thoughts. And it was really incredible to feel the love and to see how people have understanding and empathy. I’m glad I posted that; it was a way of healing, of talking about things and expressing my feelings.”

You can read the full feature with Gomes in our July 2021 issue, out Monday June 7.

Lucy E. Cousins

By Lucy E. Cousins

Lucy is a writer for Women's Health with more than 15 years experience under her belt. She's obsessed with everything from flotation tanks, meditation and activewear as well as all of the latest fitness classes. But she's all about balance... so in between fitness sessions, you'll find her with a coffee in one hand and a croissant in the other.

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