She worked hard making a living cleaning the streets of Rio De Janiero.
But after photos of her posing seductively in her orange work overalls were posted online, Rita Mattos found overnight fame.
Mattos’ snaps of her sweeping the city’s streets started to circulate around Brazil on WhatsApp.
The 23-year-old was dubbed ‘Sweeper Babe’ after the photos which were originally from her private Facebook page went viral.
But Mattos who earns, around $500 a month cleaning, is far from pleased with her sudden exposure.
She has criticized the sharing of her photos and accused people of discriminating against her less beautiful colleagues.
However, the council worker admits she would pose naked for the right offer.
She told Brazil’s Extra newspaper: ‘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. But why should street cleaners, necessarily, be ugly? There is a prejudice against them.’
‘I’m very proud of what I do. Apart from working very hard, I have a lot of fun too.’
Mattos, who began her job in March last year, wakes up at 4.20am every morning.
She works in shifts of up to 12 hours, cleaning streets and unblocking drains in the western Realengo district of the South American beach city.
She says she was used to hearing wolf whistles and comments from men as she worked. But she never expected that her job would ever make her a national sex symbol.
Mattos, who has been dating another street cleaner for the last seven years, said she was shocked when she first discovered that her photos had been shared hundreds of thousands of times.
A day later she posted an angry message on her Facebook pagek telling fans to ‘stop sending me requests and asking for my Whatsapp. I won’t accept anyone and much less give my number… ok???’
‘It seems like people have never seen a bum, legs and breasts before. I’m a normal person like anyone else. I’m not famous, I’m just a street cleaner. So please stop following me.’
But she now says she wants to take advantage of the publicity and try her luck as a model.
She told Brazil’s Extra newspaper: ‘At first I thought it was all a joke in bad taste, that people were criticizing me.’
‘But later I saw that the comments were positive, praising my beauty. So I’m now taking it well, and hoping that all this exposure will bring me a good opportunity to find modelling work.’
‘A lot of friends have congratulated me and told me I deserve this recognition. I’ve always dreamed of being a model, but I also don’t want to build up my hopes.’
She has already got an agent and is open to any modelling jobs.
‘I’m here for any opportunities that might arise, it will depend on the offer,’ she said.
But she insists that she won’t give up her day job, which she says helps keep her sculptured body in shape.
She said: ‘It’s hard, physical work, good for a firm body. I also go to the gym every day after I clock off. I’m not the type of person who diets or doesn’t eat what they want to.’
‘I have to take care of my body for the beach. Looking good on the beach is everything. Lying in a bikini in the sun is all good for me.’
She added: ‘I’m very independent, I’ve been working since I was 16. I’ve always liked to conquer my own things. I hope that will accomplish all my dreams.’