She’s a Victoria’s Secret Angel and considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, but Jessica Gomes has revealed it wasn’t always easy for her growing up.
The 28-year-old beauty has spoken candidly about dealing with racism as a young mixed-race girl in Australia in a video for CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment).
Her exotic beauty stems from her mother’s Chinese heritage and her father’s Portuguese background, but the Perth-born supermodel said she struggled to accept her looks when she was younger.
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Model pupil: Jessica Gomes says she felt the odd one out when she was growing up because of her looks
Speaking out: The David Jones ambassador wanted to share her experiences
‘I didn’t feel accepted because I was Asian,’ she said.
‘I was teased at school and racially discriminated against.
‘I just feel I’m proud of who I am now and I’m proud of my ethnicity.
‘I never thought I’d grow up to feel this way because I always wanted to not talk about that or embrace it.’
After coming under fire from her schoolmates, Gomes said she struggled to find Asian role models in pop culture, that is, until Lucy Liu in the Charlie’s Angels reboot.
‘I think my first attention to an actress was Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angels – I loved that.
‘When I would play games with my friends and act it out I would always play her, I’d be like “I’m Lucy Liu” because that’s what I look like.
Role model: The Perth-born beauty said Lucy Liu in the Charlie’s Angels reboot was the first Asian role model she had in pop culture
Catwalk queen: The David Jones ambassador has made a name for herself as an international model for major labels, pictured in Melbourne in March
‘It was hard in Australia because I didn’t have any other Asian role models that I looked up to – maybe Pocahontas because I thought she looked like me too.’
It’s all water under the bridge now for the international beauty, who was discovered by a modelling agency as a teenager and moved to New York when she was 18.
She went on to encourage viewers to ’embrace your unique qualities’ and their differences.
Red hot woman: Supermodel Jessica Gomes said she experienced racism growing up in Australia, pictured in New York in February
via Jessica Gomes reveals she experienced racism and ridicule over her model looks when growing up | Mail Online.