Since making her mark as a bikini model in the Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated in 2008, Jessica Gomes has gone from Aussie babe to international success story. She has graced the pages of Vogue, and consistently ranked among the AskMen international poll of the ‘world’s most desirable women’.
Jessica Gomes has it all; an enviable, curvaceous figure that shook up the modelling industry for the better, and exotic beauty thanks to her Chinese/Portuguese background.
It’s no surprise, then, that the Aussie stunner has been snapped up by some of the best in the biz.
Her initial success as a swimsuit model led to global campaigns, ambassadorships, sponsor deals and runway shows on repeat, but her rise to fame was not without its challenges – at every turn, she was met with snide remarks about her weight.
Though insecurities initially plagued her, Jess persevered and, years later, learnt that it was OK – incredible even – to be unique in an industry so rigid and finally began to embrace her gorgeous figure, accept herself for who she is and love her body. And, naturally, the whole world followed suit.
Now, the model-turned-Hollywood starlet can add actress, entrepreneur and business owner to her impressive resume. She has starred in her share of Hollywood blockbusters, kicking off her big screen career with a cameo in Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), as well as acting alongside Bruce Willis in 2017’s Once Upon a Time in Venice.
This Aussie inspiration is one girl boss we sure admire.
You have recently been announced as the face of Jets swimwear – that must feel pretty amazing. How did it all come about?
Jess: It felt really great to be acknowledged by an iconic Australian swimwear brand like Jets, especially after doing Sports Illustrated for eight years. This is actually my first Australian swimsuit campaign.
Tell us a little about your skin care brand, Equal Beauty. What was the inspiration behind it?
Jess: Since I travel so much I wanted to create a range that was going to keep my skin hydrated and protected. That’s how Equal Beauty was born. I wanted it to have a meaningful message and create a skin care brand for everyone and it be gender neutral and also make people feel secure about who they are – not insecure.
And your favourite product from the range? Which one can’t you live without?
Jess: I would say my Super Mist spray is pretty awesome! I use it everyday and it keeps me hydrated and also protected from pollution. It also seals makeup and is a pick-me-up throughout the day. When feeling dry and dull it brightens you up and keeps you glowing. My range is fragrance free and all natural, so it’s super light and fresh.
Entrepreneurs always make running a business look easy. What has been the best / worst thing about owning your own business?
Jess: The best thing about running a business is that it is mine! I created something from nothing. That’s what I’m most proud of — I did it. The most challenging is knowing who you should and shouldn’t work with. People will try and take advantage of you, if you’re not careful.
You’ve been a swimsuit model since you started out — have you ever felt the pressure to look a certain way and how did you deal with that?
Jess: In my younger years I did, as I was still trying to figure out who I was and how to look after myself. I feel like now I’m so confident and comfortable with who I am that the body stuff doesn’t affect me. I really think if you’re truly happy inside and you feel good about who you are, it doesn’t matter.
You’re often referred to as being ‘curvy’ (we prefer the term ‘perfect’). Did you always embrace this label or did you find it tough as a younger model who was still learning how to navigate the industry?
Jess: Yes for sure! It was really hard to be stereotyped or defined by a category, especially when I was starting out. Being sexy or having a body was not in at the time — it was that really skinny look — so it was hard to fit in. Then I realised I don’t want to fit in. And I’m not going to try and be something that I’m not. That’s when everything changed. I viewed myself differently, and so did everybody else.
I feel like now I’m so confident and comfortable with who I am that the body stuff doesn’t affect me. I really think if you’re truly happy inside and you feel good about who you are it doesn’t matter.
You star in the upcoming Hollywood film Father Figures alongside Owen Wilson. What was that experience like?
Jess: That experience was incredible and a huge learning curve! I love being on set and working with such brilliant and funny actors. It was so much fun. I was playing Owen Wilson’s love interest. It was super cool to play alongside such a legend.
What is the best thing you’ve learned over your 10-year career as a model?
Jess: I’ve learned to be patient. The cream always rises to the top!
Tell us about life in LA – What do you love most about living in La La land?
Jess: I love the film industry so much. Being around creatives and around the history of Hollywood really feeds my soul. The California lifestyle is also incredible — I love hiking and being part of that healthy, progressive community of people. Also, I love the mix of cultures in LA. It really is a melting pot for people from all over the world.
Where are your favourite healthy hangs in LA?
Jess: Erewhon for my groceries. Moon Juice and the Beverly Hills Juice Co for smoothies. I also love getting vitamin drips from Earth Bar — they’re so good. Gracias Madre for Vegan Mexican and also Pace for healthy, homemade Italian.
How do you relax and re-centre after busy days / weeks at work?
Jess: I love doing a yoga class or just simply sitting on the couch, watching my fave TV shows or movies.
What is your approach to healthy eating? Do you subscribe to a particular diet?
Jess: I eat pretty well — protein and veggies. I always stick to whole foods for a balanced diet. Sometimes I’ll splurge if it’s appropriate. I love eating organic foods, especially in the States.
You are a role model for so many young girls and women — what advice would you have for them?
Jess: Keep looking inside yourself. Do
good things for yourself and your community. Be good to your family and loved ones. Always surround yourself with good people and work hard! Have fun and always listen to what’s right for you. Only you know what’s best for yourself. Always feed your mind and soul with books, art and films.
Between your modelling work, ambassadorships and running a business – you must keep pretty busy. How do you prioritise your health when you’re working around the clock?
Jess: I am super organised and I always make sure I put my health first as it’s the most important. I don’t really go out and I don’t drink, so I always make sure I can get up early and go for a workout. I eat pretty well and I surround myself with positive people who have my back. I’m not a girl who sits and wines and dines. I’m definitely just a hard working girl, which I love.
Photography: David Higgs
Makeup: Blondie of Exclusive Artists
Hair: Gui of Exclusive Artists
Styling: Devon Nuszer
Creative Director: Brooke Meredith