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AMISH ANARCHIST; Kate, 21, grew up a bishop's daughter in the isolated and secretive Amish community, all the while dreaming of a different life. This is her story...

Byline: Words: Emma Jones

Kate Stoltzfus is a true example of good girl gone bad. She was kicked out of home for signing up to appear on a TV show in which a group of Amish teenagers left their community for the crazy streets of New York. When she arrived in the Big Apple, she then went truly wild, stripping off to a bikini, slapping on make-up and gyrating round a stripper pole. Yep, this Amish angel went devilish.

I grew up on a farm and started helping my mother and father with chores from a young age.

Girls weren't allowed to wear any make-up or cut their hair; some girls would try putting make-up on but they would just get told to wash their faces. I made my first dress when I was 10. I made all my clothes myself apart from underwear and shoes.

Dating in the Amish community is simple.

If a boy wants to date you, he'll write a letter to your house to ask for your permission. You can start dating when you're 16, and the couple will meet up on a Sunday night after the youth group gets together for singing. The boy will walk the girl home, and the girl will prepare a snack for them to eat while they chat. If it gets serious, they will have a date on Saturday night as well.

I was overwhelmed when I first arrived at New York's Grand Central Station.

There were people everywhere. There were taxis, horns and brakes screeching. It was scary. I didn't have to tell anyone about my Amish roots, no one looks at you in New York, they walk past you.

The press have suggested we're actors who weren't living full Amish lives before the show. That isn't true.

Not all Amish teens comply to the community way of life. Many will bend the rules when they turn 16. I was doing things I wasn't supposed to while still part of the community, we just never tell people about those things.

You see me try modelling for the first time on the show and I really enjoyed it.

My first shoot was in a bikini so it was nerve-wracking and I felt self-conscious, but I just blocked those emotions out. I also get on a plane for the first time, travel on the subway and eat sushi, which I loved.

My cellphone is the gadget I can't now live without.

I am so glad I decided to break out of the community. Now I can express myself fully rather than being who somebody else wants me to be.


In a world where 'plain' is a compliment, Breaking Amish follows five Amish teens exploring life outside their community. The Amish live a simple life away from the temptations of modern technology. They farm their food, make their own clothes and value rural life and manual labour. On average, families have seven children, and the one-room schools allow children to be educated until they are 13; after that girls help their mothers at home, and the young men work on the land.


From bonnetwearing to boobybaring

Pictures: TLC Channel.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:May 26, 2013
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