New Brazilian Model, 15, Discovered In Food Bank Queue

A 15-year-old girl from a poor family in Brazil has been signed by a model agency after she was spotted standing in a food queue.

Pretty Rebeca Farias was spotted by a musical talent scout as she queued to receive her family’s monthly ration pack, or ‘cesta basica’ (‘basic basket’), as it is known in Brazil, which is distributed to low wage-earning families.

Talent scout Marivaldo dos Santos was in the area looking for percussionists to join a samba band, and was chatting to people in the queue.


Rebeca told local media: “He asked me my age and what my dream was. I said I was 15 and that I wanted to be a model.”

She said that her mother and aunt reportedly once tried to get her a booking with a modelling agency, but had been unable to proceed as they could not afford the fee for a photo album.

She said: “It cost about BRL 1,200 (GBP 159). We didn’t have the means to pay for it.


“Marivaldo told me to make a video of myself talking about my dream, asking for help to make the booking. He does not have any links with the fashion world.

“Some people who know him sent it to (actress) Regina Case, who I now say is my godmother, and then it went to (actress) Tais Araujo and (singer) Ivete Sangalo. I couldn’t believe it.

“After it reached the top people in fashion, Paulo Borges of Sao Paulo Fashion Week saw my message. And he called me for a photoshoot in my community to show where I come from.”


She has now been signed with a modelling agency and still lives with her mother in the poor Pe Preto community of the Brazilian city of Salvador, of which the teen says: “I like it because it’s calm.”

She revealed she wanted to be a model ever since she was around eight years old when she saw Gisele Buendchen on the catwalk.

Rebeca revealed she was targeted by bullies and racists because of her 1.88-metre (6.17-ft) height and dark skin.


She admitted: “It was a very hard time.”

However, she describes her new job as “my dream come true”. She also revealed: “With my first big pay check, I want to buy a house for my mother, who is a cleaner. I began my career because of her.

“Next, I want to help my community because I want to give a lot of pride to the place I come from and show where I’m going.”


Rebeca is currently signed to Way Model agency and hopes to travel the world with her new job. She told local media: “I would be happy to represent Brazil on the catwalk and in famous brand campaigns.”

Her advice to anyone who wants to follow in her footsteps is to “have faith and be down to earth”.

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