How To Throw World-Historical Shade

Shade Shady - Now Prance - 4 Versions +1
Shade Shady – Now Prance – 4 Versions +1

Last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race was the funniest yet, and it’s the one episode I’m consistently waiting for every season. Put on your reading glasses and snatch those library cards out of your breast plates, darling, because the library is open for business. The art of reading and throwing shade, and they really are an expression of creativity, stems from the black and latino gay subcultural underworld in New York, a culture that was practically immortalized by Jenny Livingston’s Paris Is Burning. I wish RuPaul would just green light a show that just had a bunch of bitches reading other bitches.


Thankfully there’s already a show for that, the amaze YouTube webseries Got 2B Real, the diva variety show, which gives you hours and hours and hours of divas like “Beyoncé,” “Diana Ross,” “Dionne Warwick,” “Aretha Franklin,” and “Patti Labelle” coming for each other’s lace fronts. Watch it and it’ll teach you everything you need to know about shading a bitch or reading someone to filth.

A few shady educational highlights from the series:

1. Body Language Says A Thousand Words.


The thing about throwing shade at someone is that it’s supposed to be sort of non-violent. I mean, until the bitch starts grabbing for your weave, at which point, batten down the hatches. It’s easy to use words or profanities to throw shade, but probably the best way to come for a bitch is by not saying anything at all. Just don’t engage the ratchetness. Perfect those eye-rolls, hunty. Get into that purse of the lips, sassy that hair flip.

2. Keep The Insults Funny, Not Mean-Spirited.


Throwing shade is all about creativity. RuPaul said it best: “Throwing shade takes a bit of creativity. Being a bitch takes none.” You’re not trying to be MEAN for the sake of it, you’re just trying to let somebody know about themselves. In a funny way.

You might say something like:

Bitch you look just LIKE your vocal ability.

I will read you through transition lenses.

I don’t know why you’re so broke because whenever you open your mouth I pay you no attention.

3. Just Straight-Up Ignore The Bitch.

How To Throw World-Historical Shade

Which leads us to a third important tenant of throwing shade: straight-up ignore that ratchet heffer. He or she is sitting right in front of you, possibly, but you don’t see them at all. You don’t recognize them or their “talents.” They aren’t worth your time. “Never heard of you before.”

4. Ask To See The Receipts.


One of Whitney Houston’s greatest moments, bless her soul, was during an interview when Dianne Sawyer asked about her million drug habit. Whitney goes, “I wanna see the receipts.” It’s a brilliant shade-throwing line! Whenever somebody is throwing around some ridiculous tomfoolery, just ask to see the receipts.

You might say something like:

Now I know I’m not the only one who wants to see the receipts for all these lies.

THAT one’s going in my notebook.

5. Always Flip The Script.

How To Throw World-Historical Shade

A battle of shade is a marathon of wit. You have to keep the ball rolling or the other person wins. When you’re throwing shade, the other person is gonna come straight for your weave and will say whatever it takes to shut you down. But that’s the point! Instead of throwing in the towel, just turn whatever that bitch said back on her or him.

You might say something like:

“Mary J. Blige”: “She(Toni) has a problem because of her bank statements. And I try to understand and put myself in her shoes but it’s like…she can’t even afford them.

“Toni Braxton”: And even if you double bagged it, you still couldn’t carry a tune.

Oooh, the shade of it all. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Author of How To Be A Pop Star.

Keep up with Madison on Twitter

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