For those of you who still, after all this time, don’t know the definition of shade (many people do not, as evidenced below), this scene is a masterclass in how to give and respond to shade. ETI breaks down the Masterclass of throwing shade from the 1984 episode of Dynasty between Joan Collins and Diahann Carroll.
An insult is not shade! Learn the definitions of words, folks.
Before Dorien Corey defined shade for the uneducated masses, before Nene blooped her way to the top, and before Cookie dragged that “fake ass Lena Horne” on Empire, there was…DYNASTY. So let’s analyze the wisdom this scene from Dynasty has bestowed on us, shall we?
1. To engage in a shade-off, there must be a warning shot
2. Then outline the theme of the shade session. What will you be discussing?
3. Now, when someone engages you in a shade-off, there’s no need to get your feathers ruffled
4. Use “I” statements to express your feelings
5. Question your opponent’s subjectivity
6. But remember — no question is allowed to be rhetorical during a shade-off
7. But you can add to sentences
8. If you’re feeling confident, fire off a set of rapid-fire shady, yet FACTUAL comments that CANNOT be challenged
9. Like this:
10. Or this:
This one’s just rude. That’s like telling someone they have a gorgeous, Olympic-size swimming pool, but then reminding them they never even placed for a bronze medal.
There CAN be responses to these, however. Alexis turns the shade around and uses it to insult Dominique. “Only small yachts.” Yaaassss, my yachts are bigger than yours, boo. Who wouldn’t get sick on your Gilligan’s Island dingy?
11. Do not slut-shame
Translation: “You paid for your European vacation by prostituting yourself to some sleazy German, probably.”
This is where Dominique falters. You’re both strong women, there’s no need to call anyone a ho.
12. If you get out of line (like using slut-shaming), be prepared for a clapback:
*Whatever the 1984 version of Google was. I guess… libraries were a thing?
How does one end a shade-off?
They can go on and on until someone delivers a crushing blow. Either the person who initiated the shade-off will finish things quickly, or the shade will turn the tables with a quickness.
13. It takes preparation, precision, and timing to absolutely shade someone within an inch of their life and render the shade-off fini
And in case you didn’t know what Dominique meant when she said the champagne was burned? She expounds:
14. Know when you’ve met your match
15. You can attempt to deflect:
16. But your desperation will be obvious
“I PREFER PETROSSIAN BELUGA.”
17. You cannot win a shade-off without an exit line
18. And your own personal variation of “Bye, Felicia!”
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