“I never had a friend group or anyone who would stand up for me. I think it was being tall and weird looking and still growing into my features. I think the biggest thing was probably my braces or teeth or personality; people didn’t like me all around. I just didn’t really connect with a lot of the kids. Maybe because I was super into Lord of the Rings a little too much—maybe that scared a little people off,” she laughingly shares.
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But now she’s on the cover of Playboy magazine. The biggest factor that led her to posing for the magazine is one of her online followers, Theo Wenner, the celebrity photographer from Rolling Stone.
“He was intrigued by it because he doesn’t use Snapchat. Every day I would take a new video, behind the scenes, or whatever. I think that kind of clicked with Playboy trying to be more personal toward the magazine and more real toward the younger audience—I think he realized that I could be the type of girl they’d want to promote more on Playboy.”
McDaniel believes that Playboy’s decision to do non-nude is a positive step.
“I think it was time for a change. They had been doing the same thing for so long. You can see naked women everywhere now. I think it was really smart because they have more content now and they can get a lot more models now because it’s non-nude. I think it will make people focus more than just a naked woman’s body, even though is a beautiful thing and everyone wants to see it.”
However, when asked about what she would do if Playboy requests for her to pose nude for the magazine, McDaniel says it will depend on the style and who the photographer is.
“There’s a lot of things contribute to my decision, but I think I would definitely have to think about it. There’s always going to be a part of me that would want to be in it anyway, just because Playboy is so huge and it’s a historical magazine.
“My parents have been along the journey with me for so long and they know how much I want success in modeling and anything that I want to do. They support me on everything I did. My dad was the first one to be like, ‘I believe in you. I want you to do the Playboy magazine’—before he even knew it was non-nude. He supports everything I do and is always there for me. It’s awesome.”
Although she’s still relatively new in her chosen field, she has a few words to say for anyone who wants to follow a career in modelling.
“I wasted like maybe over a year of my life because I listened to other people telling me things that weren’t true. I went through a lot of rejection. My previous agency told me that I couldn’t do runway, I couldn’t do acting, couldn’t do all these things, and it threw me off. Only listen to the people who actually believe in you and are behind you, because that is what is really going to get you somewhere. If it ultimately doesn’t work out, then you did your best.”
McDaniel’s biggest dream to to become a Victoria’s Secret angel.
“It’s a big dream. But I never thought that Playboy would happen either, so you never really know.”