A Miss BumBum 2016 hopeful has voiced regret over her involvement in a controversial remake of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper painting. Daiana Fegueredo said she has asked God for forgiveness since the image− which shows eight of Brazil's most popular rears posing as the son of God and his disciplines− was published in the run up to the finale.
"I completely understand people being angry about it, because even I'm angry and I'm in it. For me it is blasphemy," she told the Daily Mirror.
"I feel really bad deep inside of me. I'm a practising Catholic. Since I did the photo my heart is tight inside my chest, I can't sleep and I don't stop thinking about it. I've already asked forgiveness from God, and I ask forgiveness from everyone else. We went too far. We were part of a great sin."
Fegueredo is one of the 15 remaining contestants who will compete to be crowned the owner of the country's best bottom. Now in its sixth year, the contest capitalises on Brazil's obsession with backsides. An elimination round whittled down the 26 featured representatives from all of the country's states. Fame and lucrative endorsements deals are just a few of the things on offer to the winner.
The Miss BumBum organisers decision to run the image is particularly shocking considering the fact that Brazil is deeply religious. The South American nation has the largest Roman Catholic population of any country in the world. Brazil's religious leaders branded the raunchy remake of Da Vinci's masterpiece "deeply disrespectful", saying it caused "great offence" to Catholics.
Father Clesio Vieira, from the Volta Redonda diocese of Rio de Janeiro, said: "Everyone's talking about it. It has broken the boundaries of ethics and respect, all in the name of money. This isn't creativity, it's the vulgarisation of the sacred and is deeply disrespectful."
Assistant bishop of Rio de Janeiro, Antonio Augusto Dias Duarte, echoed those views, adding that women should not be objectified but "valued for their role as a wife, mother, professional, and for her intellectual and cultural qualities."
The Mirror adds that Brazil's religious intolerance commission condemned the picture. Despite the furore, Miss Bumbum founder Cacau Oliver defended the image saying it was "not offensive to the church".
The live grand final is set to take place in São Paulo on 9 November.