No place like home for Gomes

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Fresh from her dazzling runway debut as the new face of David Jones at its glitzy spring/summer launch in Sydney, Perth-raised model Jessica Gomes can't wait to get back to her home town this week for some much-needed relaxation.

"It has been a while, the last time I was back there was for the holidays," Gomes told AAA Weekend. "I'm going to have a couple days to chill with my family, which will be fantastic because I've been so busy its nice to just relax."

But her return to WA isn't all pleasure - Gomes will also be fulfilling her DJs ambassador duties, where she will greet local fans at an in-store appearance at the Hay St Mall store on Thursday at 12.30pm. "I'm thrilled, I'm super pumped for Perth, I can't wait to meet everyone," she said.

Reflecting on her tumultuous modelling career, Gomes said the past year had been such a whirlwind that her recent unveiling as the face of DJs, replacing Miranda Kerr in a move that will thrust her further into the spotlight here in Australia, was yet to sink in.

"I've been so busy travelling and do so much leading up to this that I haven't even had the time to think about it and it's all been happening so quickly as well," she said.

"I think it's all going to sink in when I go back to my hotel room, I'll be like 'Wow, did that actually happen?'"

But the road to success has not been smooth for Gomes. Despite facing some pretty harsh criticism over the years from fashion industry insiders who have dissed her voluptuous curves in favour of rake-thin models, Gomes holds no grudges.

"Some people love you and some people hate you," she said. "As you get older you realise you can't please everyone. When you're young, you want to fit in, you want to be accepted and you're still trying to find yourself and what type of person you are. But now I just feel really comfortable in my own skin and I've found a balance with my life."

Gomes said keeping her composure on the runway had come over time.

"People always say to me 'Oh you look so comfortable out there' but its because I have so much inner peace and I'm exuding that," she said. "I'm 28, I feel like I've had a lot of experiences in life, so I feel comfortable with what I do and I feel comfortable with my job.

"I think it's important for any young woman out there to really try to understand what they love about themselves and get that confidence. That's the key to being happy."

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