Culture » A Lesson in Throwing Shade from Prince, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin
  • A Lesson in Throwing Shade from Prince, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin - RuPaul from RuPaul's Drag Race.
  • A Lesson in Throwing Shade from Prince, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin - The Art of Shade
  • A Lesson in Throwing Shade from Prince, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin - The Art of Shade
  • A Lesson in Throwing Shade from Prince, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin - The Art of Shade
  • A Lesson in Throwing Shade from Prince, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin - The Art of Shade
  • A Lesson in Throwing Shade from Prince, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin - The Art of Shade
  • Subscribe to W Magazine
  1. 1/8

    Photo Courtesy of Logo.

  2. 2/8

    Photo by @theartofshade_.

  3. 3/8

    Photo by @theartofshade_.

  4. 4/8

    Photo by @theartofshade_.

  5. 5/8

    Photo by @theartofshade_.

  6. 6/8

    Photo by @theartofshade_.

  7. 7/8
  8. 8/8

A Lesson in Throwing Shade from Prince, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin

With over 100,000 followers, @TheArtofShade is clearly on to something. Here, the man behind the popular Instagram account shares the shadiest moments in history, plus the do's and don'ts of throwing shade.

Since early 2016, blogger Cristian Alcauter, 30, has taken it upon himself to archive every sly snub thrown by a celebrity on his Instagram, The Art of Shade. From Prince‘s piercing eye-rolls to Kim Kardashian‘s tweets, the account is a timeline of shade pre and post-social media, and has quickly gained a following of over 100,000. Despite the masses participating in shade, it’s still a term better defined by UrbanDictionary.com than the OED. It’s an “an insult in disguise,” as Alcauter puts it; a remark so clever it’s hard to hate. So, don’t take it personally.

When did you start this account and why?
I started right in the beginning of 2016. I had most of these shade videos saved on my laptop but I was running out of space. I created my Instagram account as an archive, which has now become the archive of shade a.k.a The Art of Shade.

Define your Instagram in three hashtags:
#humorous #shady #LIFE

How do you find what to post? Do you have any rules?
TBH, either TV or online. I also have amazing followers that sometimes submit video requests, which I try to incorporate to the archive of shade. My only rule is: It’s gotta be shady!

Your first Instagram:
A picture of RuPaul with one of his quotes: “Throwing shade takes a bit of creativity, being a bitch takes none.”

Big break:
My Instagram being featured on MTV. I thought that was pretty awesome!

Maximum number of daily posts:
Depends how shady I’m feeling that day, but for the most part it’s around 2-3 times a day.

Greatest hits:
One is a clip of Rihanna rolling up her window, another is a clip of Prince, not counting his birthdays. #RIP Prince.

Your personal top 3 favorite shade moments of all time:
Mariah Carey’s iconic, “I don’t know her” moment; Prince sucking on a lollipop during a live performance of “We Are the World”; Aretha Franklin snubbing Patti Labelle during a White House event.

☠☠⚰ #prince #quincyjones #wearetheworld #performance

A video posted by The Archive of Shade (@theartofshade_) on

What have you learned about the “art of shade” through this account? How has it evolved over time?
Shade has always been a part of our daily lives, whether it’s in real life, celebrity life, movies, politics, or even in some cartoons. The term has been out there, the only difference now is that it’s become mainstream.

What’s the right way to throw shade? The wrong way?
You need to be fast, smart, and very clever. Shade is all about an insult in disguise. It should be done very subtlety without the person even knowing they’re being shaded. Sometimes ending it with a simple smile or a sensible chuckle tends to help your delivery. The wrong way would be a direct insult lacking creativity.

Why do we all need a little shade in our lives? In other words, how can it be constructive?
It’s entertaining; it’s not mean’t to be taken personally.

What’s the difference between social media shade and shade IRL? 
That you’re given the opportunity to edit your shade before you click the send button, which is something you can’t do IRL. You either know how to throw shade or you don’t.

Who gets too much shade on social media?
Anything Kardashian.

5 favorite shady accounts to follow:
I wouldn’t know, because I don’t follow any.

Watch W’s most popular videos here:

See More InstagramPrinceshadeInstagram,Prince,shade,the art of shade,throwing shade