Subdistrict head says she lost her job over ‘cheap’ catwalk video

Screengrab from Dewi Novita’s video. Photo: TikTok/@dewi.centong
Screengrab from Dewi Novita’s video. Photo: TikTok/@dewi.centong

Citayam Fashion Week has undoubtedly lit the flames inside many fashionistas in Indonesia, but one official said she lost her job after the youth subculture movement inspired her to strut a makeshift catwalk.

Though it has become a topic of numerous controversies, Citayam Fashion Week essentially began with youths flaunting their #OOTD by fashioning catwalks out of crosswalks in downtown Jakarta.

Dewi Novita, who was a subdistrict head in Payakumbuh, West Sumatra, was inspired by the movement to flaunt her work uniform and her dress — both of which would be considered modest under Islamic standards — on a crosswalk in her city. She posted the video on her TikTok, @dewi.centong.

Soon after, she posted a follow-up video, in which she showed a screenshot of a comment by the local chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) — the highest Islamic clerical body in the nation — denouncing her stunt and look as “cheap”. The council also said that as a female official, she should have led by example and been modest not just with her clothing, but with her conduct as well.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg88eiaumnO/

“The career that I built up over a long time was suddenly crushed because of MUI’s non-objective comment,” Dewi wrote in the video, adding that she is no longer a subdistrict head as a result of MUI’s criticism. 

Dewi also pointed out the double standards imposed on her case, as other officials who strutted the catwalk a la Citayam Fashion Week, like West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, did so without any scrutiny from religious authorities.

Payakumbuh Mayor Riza Falevi denied that Dewi lost her job as sub district head because of the video, saying that she was merely transferred to another department — not demoted by rank — for bureaucratic reasons.

Dewi is now reportedly a secretary for Payakumbuh’s Public Order Agency (Satpol PP).

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