‘Sweeper Babe:’ Brazilian street cleaner becomes internet star

Mattos works as a street cleaner for a municipal urban cleaning company in Rio de Janeiro. (Courtesy: Facebook)

Rita Mattos, 23, dubbed the “sweeper babe” has become an internet sensation after photos of her posing in her orange overalls went viral on Brazilian social media.

Mattos works as a street cleaner for a municipal urban cleaning company in Rio de Janeiro. After a picture of Mattos in uniform began to circulate widely on a messaging app, an internet star was born.

She now boasts more than 50,000 Facebook followers, and over 50,000 Instagram followers – many of whom commenting that she is too "pretty" for her job.

Sweeper babe 4

Sweeper babe 4

"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,” Mattos told Brazil’s Extra.

"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."

The internet sensation told the newspaper she had always been an independent woman, working since the age of 16.

sweeper babe 3

sweeper babe 3

Mattos began sweeping the streets of Rio in March last year. She wakes up at 4:20 every morning and goes on her 12-hour shift, during which she cleans the streets and unblocks the drains in the Western Realengo district of the South American beach city.

The cleaner told the newspaper she thought the exposure was a joke at first, but now ould like to take advantage of the publicity and try her luck as a model.

"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,” she said.

"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."

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48