What is shocking in art, culture and politics

The French verb epater is translated as "to amaze" or "stun". Shocking is understood as unusual, defiant behavior that sharply differs from the generally accepted norms of morality and ethics.

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What does a shocking person mean

Such a person constantly violates generally accepted norms of behavior with scandalous statements, non-standard clothes or hairstyles. It seems that in order to attract attention, a shocking person is ready to do anything. This causes discontent or outrage in society.

Epation is a necessary element of the game, which takes what is happening outside of everyday life.

This behavior is typical for creative people who strive to embody new original ideas and forms.

Manifestations of shocking in art and creativity

This style of behavior is especially clearly expressed in the styles of modern, avant-garde or postmodern. These areas of art aim to create something new through the demonstrative destruction of the old. Most of the artists shock the audience with their creative work.

Society often calls their works evidence of the degradation of art.


American authors Charles Bukowski and Henry Miller are recognized as bright talented outrageous people. They shocked the public with their actions, and in the novels they described their own lives. In some European countries, certain works of these writers are prohibited.

Fine arts

The works of the surrealist Salvador Dali are full of unexpected scenes, but not only creativity brought him recognition. A genius or insane Spaniard made his personal life a work of art and shocking.

The artist is famous for his shocking exhibitions, unusual everyday costumes, public demonstration of non-standard love preferences.


World renowned British composer David Bowie is called the "chameleon of rock music." This title is secured by fifty years of successful creative experiments. The artist plays with styles, his own appearance, sexual orientation. Bowie is called one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, the innovator of most of modern rock music.

Unusual concert or casual costumes brought Bowie almost more fame than platinum albums.

Theater and cinema

Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier makes shocking films with scenes of violence. His private life is no less extraordinary: alcoholism, ambiguous statements at public events, provoking a wide public outcry. Trier's outrageousness, which is not so defiant in his personal life, is manifested in all of his works.

The director's films regularly receive honorary awards, and the leading actors become stars.


In the field of haute couture, almost every designer tries to break through originality. John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood remain the brilliant masters of outrageousness, who exploded the existing canons and created fundamentally new trends. Their modern followers, such as Alexander McQueen, use flamboyant techniques in a more straightforward manner. An example of his defiant behavior is taking off his pants in public at the final exit of one of the shows.

In everyday life

People of all nations and ages resort to shocking today. Social networks have a significant impact on the development of this trend, where everyone becomes the creator of their own image. Accounts are filled with pictures in bright outfits with makeup incongruous for age.

Everyday shocking is not limited to the original appearance: extravagant provocative actions and provocative behavior are filmed and uploaded to the server.

Appearance and hairstyle

There are a lot of tools for shocking. Women dye their hair acid colors, some braid African American braids (dreadlocks), shave their whiskey. Piercings, tattoos all over the body, tight leather clothing have long ceased to be the choice of only representatives of youth subcultures.

Style of behavior

A shocking personality strives to be always in sight, attracting attention. One of the tools for achieving a goal is behavior provoking an emotional reaction. The actions of such people are on the verge of permissible or beyond it.

Deliberate violation of established rules of conduct in public places is the simplest example of shocking others in everyday life.

Outrageous as a PR-move

Few things so easily attracts attention to a person or product, as well-thought out outrage. This tool is constantly used by marketers during advertising campaigns, public relations specialists.

Today not a single major public figure or businessman can do without shocking acts or provocative statements.

In politics

Donald Trump and Vladimir Zhirinovsky use a shocking political strategy. Their public statements almost always generate mixed reactions and criticism from the public.

In show business

Among the stars there are many shocking figures who attract attention with scandalous antics and extravagant outfits. Madonna, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and many others cause admiration or condemnation of the public not only with creativity.

In advertisements

Racist or nationalist images, ambiguous slogans are excellent at increasing brand or brand awareness. These black PR techniques are found in commercials for Tinkoff, Burger King, and many well-known clothing manufacturers. Social advertising often contains outrageous elements.