ABC News’ Paula Faris and Natasha Singh report:
Kate Stoltzfus is one of the stars of TLC’s reality TV hit, “Breaking Amish.”
The series chronicles the lives of five young Amish people who have shed their old lives — steeped in religious observance, tradition and avoidance of technology — to come to New York City.
For Stoltzfus, 22, the change goes deep. Not only has she shed her Amish roots, she’s stripped down for a sexy shoot in the latest edition of Maxim magazine.
Asked whether she was the black sheep of the family, Stoltzfus laughed and replied, “Yes, probably.”
Stoltzfus left everything she’s ever known to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion model and designer in New York City.
“Honestly, I wasn’t happy,” she said of her old life, speaking in an interview with “Good Morning America” that aired on the show on Monday. “I just knew it wasn’t right for me, I knew I didn’t feel comfortable.”
She said she’s more comfortable now.
“This past year has been one of the best years of my life,” she added.
That new life couldn’t be more different than her Amish life in Lancaster, Pa., where she drove a horse and buggy, used an outhouse and washed her own clothes by hand.
“I feel like I’m adjusting well. I love the city … I don’t have to hang my clothes on a line anymore, waiting for them to dry,” she said, laughing.
But there is one thing she’ll definitely miss about the Amish way of life.
“The one that I’m always going to miss is the closeness that I’ve had with my family. I still talk to them, but I’m an outsider,” she said.
Stoltzfus hasn’t been ostracized, but things have definitely changed.
“They still highly encourage me to come home … but, it’s every time I go home I can tell they’re disappointed in me, and that for me is kind of hard,” she said.
Her family members don’t look at magazines like Maxim, so they haven’t seen the photos of her, and Stoltzfus said they would never want to see the pictures.
If they did, “they would get very angry and probably burn it,” she said.
Stoltzfus doesn’t think she’ll live in New York City forever, but, like so many other twentysomethings, she’s just giving it a try. And she hasn’t totally left her all aspects of her old life behind, she said.
“I know I’ve abandoned the Amish lifestyle, but I still keep a lot of those beliefs … I know I’ve stepped outside the boundaries a lot of times, but I still try to remember what’s important to me,” she said.