A Woman’s Worth: Whisky Business vs The Wynnum Herald

Whisky Business and the Wynnum Herald


One of the best things about starting this blog has been discovering the sheer number of dedicated, committed and talented people running small businesses in Brisbane.

I’m constantly amazed at the drive, creativity  and the passion they bring to what they do. They add  immense value to the Brisbane economy, not to mention our enviable lifestyle.

I find and keep tack of many of these businesses by liking their Facebook pages.

It’s a convenient way for me to stay up to date with what they’re doing as well as acting like a sort of  unofficial “ to do” list  of things I’d like to investigate further because I think that the people who read this blog might be interested in them .

Whisky Business – macarons made to order was one these businesses.

I liked their page a while ago after a friend of mine gave them a shout out and had been meaning to get down to Capalaba (which is not in my usual travels) and try them out. Their macarons looked yummy and I regularly liked  their photos when they popped up in my Facebook feed.

And then suddenly yesterday morning there was this…


I stared crazily at the screen for a moment before clicking the “See More” link. The story was shocking yet horribly familiar.

The journalist, news editor Judith Maizey from the Wynnum Herald, made it clear in no uncertain terms that despite the fact that they were there to write a story about HER business, owner Kylie Rhodes was not attractive enough in her natural state to grace the pages of their newspaper.

Apparently she wasn’t the look they were going for.

When I read that she’d turfed the journalist out of her shop I had a brief  moment of satisfaction, but that was soon overtaken by other emotions: disappointment, sadness and pure unbridled rage.

There are so many things that make me furious about Kylie’s experience with the Wynnum Herald that I’m not sure which one gets to me the most.

Is it because a male small business owner in the same circumstance would have never have been asked to make himself more attractive to fit some arbitrary notion defined by the Wynnum Herald?

Could it be the fact that as a journalist, choosing to use a picture of someone other than Kylie (who supposedly does fit these lofty standards of attractiveness) is at best a stunning lack of integrity and at worst blatant misrepresentation?

Or is it the fact that caring what she looks like at all makes a mockery of Kylie’s intelligence, skills (both in both business AND baking) and the back-breaking hard work she has put into making her business a success.

That in the final analysis her worth will ultimately be judged on her attractiveness

And maybe its also because… well she must have been excited mustn’t she?

After all that those 2.30 am starts and juggling kids and worrying, worrying, worrying about the future, the local paper was acknowledging her success and giving her  business the opportunity to reach hundreds of potential  new customers. It should have been a great day.

But instead of being the a recognition of all she had achieved it ended up being a “sorry you’re not good enough”. Being told that you’re not pretty enough for the paper would have been like a punch in the face when you’re expecting a kiss.

The fact that this was perpetrated by another woman makes me both heartbroken and confused

In the interests of fairness I have tried to look at this from the perspective of the Wynnum Herald and Judith Maizey. 

Mistakes happen, no one is perfect and we all screw up from time to time.

Unfortunately a bad day at the office when you are a journalist means that your bad day may be judged by the entire community. Or in this case a much wider audience, as there were plenty of comments on the Facebook post from people as close as NZ and as far away as Greece and South Africa.

The Wynnum Herald has posted an apology on its Facebook page which is at least something. And they did try to salvage the situation by commenting on Kylie’s post. The only problem was…

wynnum herald response

Awkward doesn’t even begin to cover it.

But the final message here is a positive one. Because Kylie didn’t just accept the shabby treatment she was dealt by the Wynum Herald. She stood up for herself and in doing so made  statement that both the media and society should note:

A woman’s worth will be measured by her achievements alone – and we will not stand for less. 



Rachel - Ed

About Rachel

Thirty-something Brisbane lover, trying to find the balance between FOMO and YOLO. Semi-retired party girl who loves planning itineraries for big nights out. Often found dragging 3 boys around your local farmers markets or attempting to sneak out for dinner with my husband, The Chef.

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19 Responses to “A Woman’s Worth: Whisky Business vs The Wynnum Herald”

  1. OMG – that is atrocious! I have the Wynnum Herald delivered to my home every Wednesday. I live locally. I saw this (see below in quotes) posted on the Wynnum Herald’s FB page but didn’t know the back story. Now I do and I’m shocked and appalled. I’m afraid I believe the business owner over the defensive comments of the Wynnum Herald. Judith needs putting in her place!!

    “Yesterday’s events involving Wynnum Herald news editor Judith Maizey and the owner of Whisky Business have been incredibly distressing for all parties concerned. Judith intended no malice, and is deeply remorseful that her comments caused offence. She is a journalist of many years’ standing and has the full support of management at Quest Community Newspapers, publishers of the Wynnum Herald. We consider ourselves fortunate to have her working with our team.”

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      I agree Min. I understand the Wynnum Herald probably feels like it needs to support her but I still think her behaviour was unprofessional – as well as just disrespectful.

  2. WOW! What a mess! As a small business owner in the past I understand how exciting the possibility of local exposure would have been and I am SO glad Kylie took the approach she did!

  3. OMG I am literally stunned! They should be so damn ashamed of themselves and then to continue the charade with the lies. Wrong… all kinds of wrong! For the record… not that I care WHAT Kylie looks like because HELLO she is totally awesome in what she has done… I DO happen to think that the photo is gorgeous and that not everyone needs to hide behind lippy… unlike that journalist who I suspect even a ton of the stuff would not hide what an awful being she is. xx

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      Yes that really baffled me too – such a half-arsed apology and and then they lied about it! And I agree that Kylie looks lovely the way she is xx

  4. Oh wow that is absolutely terrible 🙁 I hate that the Wynnum Herald does not seem apologetic and so what if Judith is traumatised. How could she think that her comment wasn’t offensive?!

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      Yeah their apology was pretty weak! I think she just didn’t CARE whether it was offensive or not.

  5. I read about this today and I can’t believed they said that. Kind of ironic that they thought she wasn’t attractive enough to be in their paper yet her picture is all over social media today and has probably got more attention than it would have in their paper anyway. Good on her for standing up for herself and calling the journalist out.

  6. I wrote a post about this too. I was stunned when I read Kylie’s post about what had happened. I mean it’s 2014, not 1952! Women can do all sorts of things without having to wear makeup!!

  7. I was gutted for this business when I read the story last week and yes I do wonder if a man owning a similar business would be judged similarly. The whole ‘STYLING’ business sometimes gives me the sh$#s. Is a woman and her business not enough to sell papers? I guess not. We all have to wear a facade and dance around what the media want us to look like. On a better note, the great publicity this business grabbed from such a shoddy incident thankfully is a blessing. I certainly will be dropping in next time I am in the area. Maybe even without make up 😉

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      Yeah it bugs me too – especially as I get older and have a better appreciation of how much more I have to offer than when I was 21. Sure my face may have been smoother and my boobs perkier but I wasn’t half as strong or interesting as I consider myself to be now. As you said though, the upside is that she has had a massive boost to her business AND she has put the way media portrays women on the social agenda in a big way!

  8. I found this whole thing fascinating (and am so impressed with Kylie for calling it out). I used to work for Quest Newspapers, as a journo no less, from 2004-2008 and we NEVER had this issue. I never once asked anyone to put on makeup. Now that I’m in PR I’m asked to supply people who are ‘young and attractive’. I even had a photographer from one paper tell me I wasted his time because the person I supplied who was an event organiser wasn’t young enough! It didn’t matter that she looked fab for her age or that she’d survived cancer… He heard she was in her 40s and said they wouldn’t run it.

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      Wow Brooke thanks for sharing your perspective! It’s amazing the change (for the worse) that’s occurred since you worked for Quest. Are we really getting more shallow as a society that the media feels we will only respond to “young & attractive”? Or is it the media’s insistence on portraying ONLY young and attractive people that is the problem? It’s hard to know which feeds which – but either way it’s sad that the superficial stuff is considered above the story 🙁

  9. I was gobsmacked when I first read this story. If she was selling make up and looked like she just crawled out of bed, I could understand. However she is a baker, who is selling food. As long as the food looks good then that’s all that matters!
    Also that apology was so half arsed. It’s the good old ‘sorry *if* you were offended’ apology aka it’s Kylie’s fault and she shouldn’t be so uptight. If they were going to apologise the least they could do was make it sound authentic.

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      Yeah the half-assed apology was the real kick in the teeth. As you said if you can’t be sincere it’s probably best not to bother!

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