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How to Throw Shade

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Duke chapter.

I truly believe that college is a time of growth. I am definitely not the same person who walked onto this campus almost three full years ago. In fact, during these past years, Duke has honed and crafted many interesting and pretty useful skills; however, there is one skill that reigns supreme. Well it’s not really a skill. It’s more of an art form, a way of life, and a tool. Yes, I’m talking about the art of throwing shade. 

What exactly does it mean to throw shade? Shade according to Urban Dictionary is “acting in a casual or disrespectful manner towards someone/dissing a friend.” I tend to believe that true shade is not derisive or an insult, it’s a revelation handed from one person of knowledge to a person lacking said knowledge. However, for this article just think of it as a REALLY witty comeback.

The first step in throwing shade is to never seek an opponent. God doesn’t like thirsty and neither should you, so don’t go around aching to start a fight. Shade isn’t about looking for fights. It’s about putting people who start fights in their place. Is that mean? No, it’s a service to society. Everyone has heard the saying “I don’t start fights, I end them.” Shade is a tool to accomplish said goal without the messiness of getting physical.

The next step in appropriately throwing shade is the shade. Within moments, you must craft a statement of factual and realistic knowledge in order to hurl it at your opponent. You must have confidence not only in your ability to shade but also in your certainty of being right. You can’t throw shade if you’re questioning yourself. You must know without a doubt that the plebeian in front of you is just a peon to your greatness.

The most difficult step in throwing shade is timing. It’s very common for people to jump the gun and cut off their opponent. I completely understand the need to silence peons. But, in proper shading you have to let them complete whatever onerous thought they’ve come up with (four for you Glen Coco). Lure them into a defenselessness state. They think they’ve won, so now is the time to correct them with the next step: soul crushing.

This is honestly my favorite part of throwing shade, the crushing of the soul. It’s also the most rewarding because you get to watch their face drop and the realization kick in. Don’t take too much enjoyment though! This is shade we’re throwing and shading cannot be diluted with petty emotions. This is a serious craft. Always temper your shade with education. You’re not just insulting people, you’re handing out a revelation. It’s a serious matter that should be handled with care and not callousness.

The final stage of proper shading is the dismissal. This is the stage where drama becomes your best friend. At this stage, you deliver your final crowning glory, leave the shaded in your shadow (see what I did there), and continue on with your life. The equilibrium of the world has finally been reestablished. You can’t go wrong with anything you do. However, if you do screw up your delivery, well as Latrice Royale once said: “it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to fall down. [But] Get up, look sickening, and make them EAT IT.”

Still, at a loss of what to do? Just follow these helpful tips from this BuzzFeed article on how to throw shade. Remember, Shading is an art form. It is not an excuse to be a bitch. It is a way for us divas to correct the injustices of the world. It’s very easy to be a bitch; it takes creativity, cunning, and a fabulous head of hair to throw shade. Heed my words carefully and may the odds be ever in your favor!


2- http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/2013-10/enhanced/webdr05/24/13/anigif_en…

3- http://misterscandal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/NENE3.gif

Hey everyone! I'm super excited to be a writer for Her Campus Duke. Here's some info on me: I'm from Florida, I'm addicted to MTVs Teen Wolf, and I love Betty White. I hope that through my articles you can get to know me a little better and hopeful I can help you during this weird transitional phase of life called college. 
Duke 2015 - Central Jersey - Economics (Finance Concentration) & English double major