“I was like, I don’t want to have my life ruined because people didn’t like me,” she says.

    “I never wanted to go to that place.

    I wanted to be accepted.

    I felt like I was on my own, which is a pretty strange feeling.”

    The 19-year-old had to overcome a number of hurdles, including having to take on some of the biggest brands in the industry.

    “It was just, it was so much work,” she recalls.

    “Every day, I had to put in a new outfit.

    I had the whole year to do it.

    I was a pretty nervous person, because I wasn’t in the best shape, but I was determined to get through it.”

    Zoe is currently working with fashion brand M.A.D. as a model for a campaign.

    She admits that the company’s strict style guidelines make it difficult for her to keep up with the latest trends.

    “You’re kind of forced to do what they tell you, or what you want to do, or if you want a dress,” she explains.

    “And they tell me I’m supposed to wear the dress, or I’m not supposed to, so it’s hard to stay in shape.”

    But Zoe says she never felt pressured.

    “There were certain things that were hard for me to keep in line, but if you’re a fashion model, that’s your life,” she laughs.

    “They know how much work it takes.

    They know that you’re doing that for a living.

    So I was like OK, I’ll do what I need to do.

    But I don’ know if it was worth it, because the work was not worth it.”

    More from the New York Times:  How a child from an impoverished family learned to be an adult and how her mother was a pioneer in the field of HIV prevention and treatment.

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