It’s hard for Rebecca Bernardo to walk down the street in her small Brazilian town.
After posting a video on YouTube a few months ago telling the world that she is auctioning off her virginity, people laugh, point, gossip and giggle.
In a sleeveless pink top, Rebecca talks into the camera:
“Hi, my name is Rebecca. I’m here to auction off my virginity.”
According to CNN, Bernardo made the video because she was desperate to help pay for her ailing mother’s medical bills. She had heard of another woman, Catarina Migliorini of Brazil, auctioning off her virginity for around $780,000. In the aftermath, Migliorini has received widespread attention for auctioning her virginity, including a spread in Brazil Playboy magazine and a modeling contract. Bernardo, however, just wants to be able to help her family.
“I made up my mind right after my 18th birthday,” Bernardo said in an interview with CNN last month in her small, one-bedroom house. “That’s when my mother suffered a stroke. There comes a time when you have to make decisions to get what you want. You have to be strong.”
The stroke left her mother bed-ridden, unable to feed herself or go to the bathroom alone.
Bernardo has tried to work before. She was a waitress and also sold cosmetics, but the pay, she said, was not good enough. But after using her friend’s YouTube account to post the now infamous video, she got 3,000 hits on the first day. Her highest bid as of late was $35,000.
But there’s also been an outpouring of help from other areas begging Bernardo to call off her auction:
A Brazilian TV network offered to pay for her mother’s medical expenses if Bernardo called off the auction. While she initially accepted the offer during a television interview, she later rejected it because the network would not pay for a house in a different town where she could “start a new life.”
YouTube has since pulled the video, and though she faces discrimination from those in her own town, she’s sticking to her plan, as she has very few options.
“It’s a lot of responsibility to face alone,” she said, wiping away tears. “I’m not really prepared.”