Men’s Health, it’s one of those magazines you see on the stand at the grocery or the bookstore and think to yourself, “Are those guys for real?” Chiseled jaw lines, scruffy beard, a six-pack, and broad shoulders; it seems impossible to be that aesthetically pleasing. The fact is, they are most certainly real people and Dan Wainer is one of them. This Brazilian born model’s career has included everything from shoe advertisements to portraying James Bond (for an article in Playboy magazine no less!) and has graced the cover of Men’s Health more than once. Men’s Health is perhaps the yin to Playboy’s yang; the covers of these magazines display the epitome of o
ne gender and the desires of the other. Wainer doesn’t take the attention or the experience of being on the cover of Men’s Health for granted. The fact that the message of this publication is overall health (physical, mental, emotional, etc.) resonates with Dan; after all, you don’t get a physique such as his without paying attention to the many facets of overall health.
Wainer has been on the cover of Men’s Health twice but he’s been a part of the publication for much longer, as a reader. As a professional male model, Dan is keenly aware of the need to take expert care of himself physically as well as in other ways. He confirms that he often found training and nutrition information in MH [Men’s Health] that was malleable to his routine, even if it is just shocking his body with some new workout. His history with the magazine made it all the more attractive to him when the publication wanted to place him on the cover. Dan is a true believer in the message of the magazine and states, “I believe the spirit of Men's Health is harmony. It’s the balance between the body, the spirit, and the mind. Nothing in exaggeration is healthy. It is not in a body with excesses of muscle, for example. A model can convey different things for the camera. Because I respect Men’s Health, I made sure that I was passing on joy and happiness in my photos.”
The model shown on the cover of MH is never predetermined by the publication. The editors review the photos of different models for the issue and then chose the one which effectively conveys the mood and sense of the issue. Dan worked with celebrated photographer Ivan Berger for this shoot. The two have a history of working together on numerous campaigns. Berger is known as a professional who is able to get the shot fast and the magazine’s stylized identity expedited this process. The knowledge of what the client is looking for and working with a photographer with whom you already have a benevolent relationship always makes for a happy model. Wainer relates, “I always feel happy when I already know the photographer. I leave my house knowing that I will make great photos and that I will have a fun day, even if it will be tiring. I’ll do whatever it takes to get great pictures and help the staff in whatever they need. When I know the photographer, I know that I will be free to suggest something and give my opinion and all the schedules will be respected. I think it works the same for photographers. Ivan is an exceptional photographer. He has complete mastery over lighting. Communicating with him is always positive and easy, on set or off. I think the way he communicates with the models is unique. He is relaxed to talk and always keeps everyone focused on what they are doing (producer, makeup artist, creative directors). Sometimes he gets up and shows the position he wants the model to do. It's very easy and fun to work with Ivan.”
The appearance of the same model on the cover of Men’s Health twice is virtually unheard of, which resulted in a great deal of attention for Dan both by the industry and the public when he achieved this. While it has led to a full work schedule representing companies including Ferracini (shoes), Poggio (perfume), Adidas, and many others…it’s the personal interaction and accolades that the model finds so memorable. Both men and women approach him with praise concerning his two-time appearance of the fitness magazine. Dan feels that it’s not only an honor for him to appear multiple times but it’s also reaffirming when the public approaches him, specifically because it means that people are reading this publication which concerns itself with health. It’s something which he feels is important and about which everyone should be vigilant. He relates, “My family was always involved in sports. I grew up seeing my father and my older brother training in the gym we had in our house. Sports have always been present in my life and with age, I realize the importance of maintaining a healthy body and a balanced mind. When it comes to food, I've never done a very strict diet, I believe we can eat anyything but in small amounts. I avoid eating bread, sugar and too much salt. I also do not usually drink soda. I have always attended gym but nowadays I have done more outdoor sports. (Beach Volleyball, Surf, Tennis, Soccer…). When someone approaches me about my covers on Men’s Health, it’s always something that makes me feel good because it hopefully means that they are invested in their own health.” It statements like this from Wainer that reinforce the idea that he is definitely the type of man who is the complete representation of what Men’s Health wants to represent.