Jess Mauboy On Finding Self-Worth And Overcoming the Most Turbulent Year of Her Life: “I feel the most free I’ve ever felt”

The singer opens up about the powerful impact of reclaiming control of her life, career and music as she graces the cover of marie claire’s April issue, and fronts our Know Your Worth campaign.

Jessica Mauboy is one of Australia’s golden girls

She walked into our homes – and hearts – as a 16-year-old bright-eyed contestant on Australian Idol and since then, has ascended to become one of our most successful female artists. She’s had two number one albums, 16 top ten hits, won two ARIA awards, nabbed one AACTA award and in May, will come full-circle with a return to reality television as a coach on The Voice.  

But her success hasn’t always come easy. As she tells marie claire, 2020 marked a particularly tumultuous year for Mauboy as she took stock, and then took charge, of her life. “I knew I needed to do things my way and take the reins,” she says of the decision to change record labels after 14 years and part ways with her long-time manager. “Last year was probably my lowest and also my highest because I gained so much strength. I feel the most free I’ve ever felt.”

The revelation comes as Mauboy is honoured as a L’Oréal Paris Woman of Worth to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the brand’s iconic tagline, “Because I’m worth it.” 

(Credit: Image: Darren McDonald)

After taking back control of her life, Mauboy is well-positioned to reflect on the startling statistics to come out of new L’Oreal Paris research which reveals 94 per cent of Australian women experience low self-esteem, and nearly 70 per cent say self-doubt is their biggest block to success. “It’s scary to look at the numbers and know that low self-esteem is such a big issue,” she says. “We need to acknowledge how prevalent it is and put an end to it.”

To instigate change, marie claire is launching the Know Your Worth campaign in partnership with L’Oréal Paris. Fronted by Mauboy, along with other game-changers such as athlete Ellyse Perry, activist Rosie Batty and chef Poh Ling Yeow, the campaign seeks to end the cycle of self-doubt, and empower women to know their true value.

(Credit: Image: Darren McDonald)

“It’s incredible to me that half a century later, the ‘I’m worth it’ message is still relevant and needed today,” Mauboy says. “Know Your Worth is the next step in that journey of self-acceptance. It’s about telling our stories and being vulnerable with our struggles. The more we share, the more we realise we’re not alone and work together to help value, foster and know our worth. We need to celebrate women in all their glory; we need to back ourselves, always.”

Read more stories from high-profile Australian women on their journey to self-worth in the April issue of marie claire, on sale Monday. And look out for the #KnowYourWorth hashtag on and our social feeds for more stories and inspiring self-worth videos.

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