A stylist’s guide to chic beach cover-ups
A stylist’s guide to chic beach cover-ups

Sinead Keenan

The IMAGE Father’s Day Gift Guide
The IMAGE Father’s Day Gift Guide

Holly O'Neill

Modern food and wellness expert Aisling Larkin on her life in food
Modern food and wellness expert Aisling Larkin on her life in food

Sarah Gill

Women in Sport: Para-cyclist Richael Timothy
Women in Sport: Para-cyclist Richael Timothy

Sarah Gill

The Irish fashion design graduates to watch
The Irish fashion design graduates to watch

Ruth O'Connor

New Bridgerton episodes and Inside Out 2 – what to watch this week
New Bridgerton episodes and Inside Out 2 – what to watch this week

Sarah Finnan

WIN four tickets to Taste of Dublin 2024
WIN four tickets to Taste of Dublin 2024

IMAGE

This dreamy East Cork period home is on the market for €775,000
This dreamy East Cork period home is on the market for €775,000

Megan Burns

Five fashion stylists on their go-to denim
Five fashion stylists on their go-to denim

Sarah Gill

‘I realised I’d been packing my husband’s suitcase as he holidayed with his mistress’
‘I realised I’d been packing my husband’s suitcase as he holidayed with his mistress’

Amanda Cassidy

A shout out to the men in my life

A shout out to the men in my life


by Suzie Coen
31st May 2024

A declaration of love… without the ick.

There aren’t loads of hot takes on how great men are these days. And why would there be? For the last few years we’ve been in a historic period where we’ve begun the long process of examining the abuse inflicted on women by The Man. However – and I can’t believe this still needs to be said – the Man is different to a man. Patriarchy is an oppressive construct but men are individuals who can choose to be complicit in its force or not. I’m lucky in that I know quite a few good men and here I want to celebrate some of my favourite ones…

My longest lasting male relationship is with M, my colourist. We’ve been “together” for 18 years and I’ve told him repeatedly that I will never leave him. Beyond his technical and creative abilities (which he has in spades), it’s his caring halo that offers a kind of therapeutic alliance so I can relax, unload and overshare. And even when he weighs in with sharp insights or pulls me up with sterling advice, it is with the utmost care and kindness. With M, there’s no judgement, a lot of candour and a ton of craic. I count on him to make me look good. But it’s not half as important as how he makes me feel.

While it’s handy to be friendly with a licensed deer hunter who gifts you (delicious) venison burgers, it’s C’s innumerable DIY skills that have made a local legend (and my dream neighbour). C is also the man who doesn’t make a big fuss when there’s a micro disaster – he’s trained in CPR, can troubleshoot that weird noise in your car and rescue you off a boat (he’s a Coastguard volunteer). Nothing fazes him. C is the person you’d call in the middle of the night if you found a mouse or an intruder. Even more compelling, he’s a man whose ego fades into the background of every situation like an elegant, unnoticeable Farrow & Ball off-white and what is left is a reliable, relaxed, sturdy, dependable energy that warms and relieves a room.

Somebody might need to stop me thinking I “need” Gucci wallpaper but it certainly won’t be my pal B. Encouraging fabulous interior purchases has been part of our friendship language for the last ten years. It works beautifully because B has an insanely great eye for good design and an innate feel for why it matters. He doesn’t claim to be an expert (although his taste is impeccable) or have all the answers (although there isn’t a DIY trick he doesn’t know) but you want him around for all your design decisions as he brings a sense of lightness and reassuring perspective to everything. Everyone I know wants to “borrow” B – to help them create that layered lighting thing, upgrade their garden, approve that sofa choice, push them to buy the divine wallpaper and hold their hand as they hang their art.

When I was single, I used to have a list of 56 requirements for a potential partner that were as far ranging as “must not wear a GAA top” to “can ski”. Then I met D who proved that really there was just one. He made a plan and suggested it for a date. It showed enthusiasm, maturity, confidence and proactiveness and in the dating world it was more precious pound for pound than plutonium. Seven years on, D is still the county champion in the attentiveness game and he never misses an opportunity to flirt with me. I once heard the singer Christy Moore say in an interview about his wife of more than 40 years: “Of course I chatted her up. I’m still chatting her up.”

And I’m lucky that D did and continues to do the same…

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of IMAGE. 

IMAGE Summer 2024

The Summer issue of IMAGE is here, and we’re taking the longer days as an opportunity to slow down, take stock, and luxuriate in the lull that summer brings. From laid-back looks to in-depth reads, there’s everything you need to set you up for the season. Plus: * Warm-weather style * Boho is back * In studio with Irish designer Sinéad O’Dwyer * Career success stories * Growing and foraging * Women in music * Reframing divorce * Tackle your tiredness * Summer beauty favourites * Bringing the outdoors in * Irish eco escapes * Garden getaways * and so much more…

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