Audiences across America are weeping over the fictional Fantine selling her body to support her daughter in the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical “Les Miserables,” but in Brazil a teenager is attempting to sell her virginity online so she can help her bedridden mother.
Rebecca Bernardo, 18, is a high school student from Sapeacu, Brazil, who made a YouTube video in December where she explained her plan to sell her virginity. The clip received 3,000 hits on the first day it was posted and as of Wednesday it has more than 300,000 views.
Speaking in Portuguese, Bernardo says in the YouTube video: “My name is Rebecca. I’m here to auction off my virginity.”
She says she was motivated by desperation, but that she was also inspired by Catarina Migliorini, who received widespread publicity and modeling contracts while she auctioned off her virginity on Virgins Wanted for $780,000.
Bernardo never knew her father, and her sister died years ago, according to neighbors who spoke to CNN.
“I made up my mind right after my 18th birthday,” the teenager told the news site. Her decision came after her mother suffered a stroke.
Bernardo admitted that she tried selling cosmetics and waitressing, but it wasn’t enough to take care of her ailing mother.
Despite being unable to leave her bed, Bernardo’s mother does not want the teenager to go through with the business venture.
“She should look for work,” her mother told CNN. “She shouldn’t prostitute herself.”
Bernardo has received three bids so far, the highest being $35,000.
But it seems Bernardo might be motivated to sell her virginity for reasons other than saving her mother.
According to the news site, a Brazilian television network offered to pay for her mother’s medical expenses if she called off the auction.
Bernardo wants enough money to take care of her mother and start a new life in a different town, but wouldn’t tell reporters how much money it would take to do so.
As of now her virginity is still up for auction.