This post comes from Melbourne-based writer Mabel Kwong‘s blog on Asian Australian issues. Thanks, Mabel, for sharing your insights on Jessica Gomes. We hope to hear more from you on this blog in the future!
Last week, half Singaporean-Chinese, half-Portuguese Jessica Gomes was unveiled as the new face of Australia’s oldest up-market department store David Jones, replacing world-renowned Aussie model Miranda Kerr as its ambassador.
It is the first time the retailer has chosen an Asian person to be its nationwide front face, recognising the fact that everyone is beautiful regardless of their skin colour in an increasingly diverse Australia.
However, this decision is not necessarily an ode to multiculturalism on some levels. The department store’s choice is arguably an image-branding tactic to boost sales amidst an unstable local economy. Also, local media and modeling industry experts have been quick to harp praise on the multicultural-esque decision while forgetting the true essence of diversity.