Have you ever dreamed about being “discovered” by a modeling agency? One day you’re going about your daily life, the next you’re catapulted into a life of fame and fortune? Well, that’s exactly what happened to this hot young street cleaner from Brazil.
Sanitation worker Rita Mattos used to spend her days cleaning trash and debris from the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Mattos worked hard, rising before 4:00 a.m. and putting in 12-hour days to keep the city streets clean. And on these long shifts, she would sometimes snap pictures of herself on the job.
Mattos’ official uniform is obviously designed for work rather than fashion, but even in this bright orange getup her beauty shone through. Plus, the pretty street cleaner always seemed to have a smile on her face.
In the internet age, however, if you post attractive pictures of yourself online, they can quickly take on a life of their own. And so it wasn’t long before photos of Mattos were being shared by admirers everywhere on WhatsApp.
Mattos suddenly found herself inundated with messages from fans impressed by her pictures. And while some simply paid their compliments, others were actually looking for romance with the Brazilian beauty and wanted to meet. Understandably, then, she was a little unnerved at first.
When the media caught hold of her pictures, moreover, they nicknamed her “Sweeper Babe.” But Mattos still wasn’t sure what to think. “It seems like people have never seen a butt, legs and breasts before,” she told Brazilian newspaper Extra. “I’m a normal person like anyone else.”
The internet sensation eventually started to come round to her newfound fame, however. “At first I thought it was all a joke in bad taste, that people were criticising me,” she added tothe publication. “But later I saw that the comments were positive, praising my beauty.”
And Mattos also had some things to say to Extra about how street cleaners are perceived. “People are surprised when they see a pretty girl working as a street cleaner. They say that I could find a better job than sweeping and weeding,” she revealed.
“But why should street cleaners, necessarily, be ugly? There is a prejudice against them,” she continued. “I’m very proud of what I do. Apart from working very hard, I have a lot of fun too.”
In fact, Mattos credits her job for helping her maintain her figure; all that physical work has given her a lean, muscular physique. It also helps that as soon as she’s finished a shift, Mattos heads straight to the gym.
Not long after sharing her pics online, then, Mattos had gained a small army of fans on social media. In fact some of her Facebook pictures received more than 50,000 likes, and her Instagram page now has 165,000 followers.
Things didn’t end there, however. Riding the wave of positive attention, Mattos got herself an agent, got into some nice bikinis and began modeling professionally. Although it must be said that her looks found her success outside of the internet before: she won a beauty contest in 2011.
Mattos’ modeling pics, naturally, went down a storm with her fans. So much so, in fact, that Playboy even approached her to do a shoot, and the street cleaner agreed to pose for the Brazilian edition of the mag. And while the shots were raunchy, Mattos had no problem with them, as she considered posing nude to be all part of the job.
Unsurprisingly, Mattos is still fending off thousands of admirers. “There are people who try to call me through Facebook. Some I answer. I just don’t share my WhatsApp number, or things would become crazy,” she told BuzzFeed in 2015.
At first glance, Mattos’ story seems like a straight-up rags-to-riches one. After all, working as a street cleaner isn’t a dream job, and the pay is only around $620 a month. But there’s more to it than that.
That’s because Mattos isn’t leaving her former life behind her entirely; in fact, she’s seemingly more than happy to keep donning her orange outfit and keep on sweeping. As she explained to BuzzFeed: “My colleagues are supporting me a lot and I do not think about leaving my job now.”
Plus, Matto finds her job rewarding and she derives a lot of satisfaction from keeping the Rio de Janeiro roads clean. And while the green-eyed beauty may not look like a typical street sweeper, she’s keen to challenge those stereotypes.
In May 2016, for example, she uploaded an Instagram pic of her posing seductively in her street cleaner’s uniform, captioning it, “I’m not ashamed of my work.” Nor should she be.
What’s next for Mattos, then? Well, the hype around her modeling work certainly hasn’t died down, but in interviews the sexy street sweeper said that she plans to enrol in a business course at college.
“I’ve always liked conquering my own things. I have hope that I will realize all of my dreams,” she told Extra. And it’s safe to say that she’s already well on her way.