Prior to the days of reality TV, there was the Dolly Model Search.
Before Tyra Banks and Jennifer Hawkins were telling us who the world’s next top model would be, teen girls were cutting out entry forms and printing photos at their local newsagent to send in to Dolly Magazine in the hopes of becoming the next big thing.
The demise of Dolly Magazine’s print edition marks the end of an era, but the modelling careers that stemmed from the publication are still alive and well.
As well as answering the array of questions that come with teenage angst, Dolly Magazine also acted as a launching pad for the careers of a number of successful Australian models.
The competition launched in 1990 and ended in 2002 when then-editor in chief Mia Freedman felt it gave a negative message to teenage girls.
The competition returned a decade later.
The respective winners went on to build diverse and successful careers, but perhaps the most familiar face to come out of it all is 33-year-old former Victoria Secret model Miranda Kerr, who took out the title in 1997.
Her magazine cover caused controversy with criticism that the image sexualised the then 13-year-old model.
In 2000 a 15-year-old Jess Hart won. Hart has gone on to work around the world including as a Victoria Secret Model.
Television actress and presenter Pia Miller also begun her career off the back of winning the Dolly competition in 1998.
In an industry increasingly moving online, the digital platform is not likely to hinder the magazine’s next “search”.
Young hopefuls are already there, with social media accounts flooded with more model shots and selfies than could ever be jammed into an envelope anyway.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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