It’s the most famous side eye ever caught on camera. It’s 1957 at a Hollywood cocktail party at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Sophia Loren is sitting next to striking blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield, but instead of a smile, she has a killer side eye and is sneering at Mansfield.
It doesn’t help that Mansfield’s breasts look like they are about to spill out of her gown. It’s a picture that not only has made pop culture experts wonder what prompted the dirty look, but has been a popular meme for tips on how to throw shade. Well the Italian screen siren, Loren, has finally shed light on why she threw hectic shade to fellow 50s starlet, Mansfield.
“I’m staring at her nipples because I am afraid they are about to come on to my plate,” Loren told Entertainment Weekly.
“In my face you can see the fear. I’m so frightened that everything in her dress is going to blow - boom! - and spill all over the table.”
Loren’s memoirs, Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today, My Life, has recently been released and we are expecting more juicy revelations on Hollywood’s golden era.
But first, Here’s a guide on how to throw shade that will, like Loren’s, be legendary 60 years later.
What is it to Throw Shade: According to Urban Dictionary: “It’s to talk trash about a friend or acquaintance, to publicly denounce or disrespect. When throwing shade it’s immediately obvious to on-lookers that the thrower, and not the throwee, is the bitchy, uncool one.” It’s basically a veiled insult. As the receiver, you only realise a bit later that you just got insulted and most times you can’t do anything about it.
For shade to work, it needs the thrower to be very adept at sarcasm, have a good vocab and not be afraid to use their eyes, hair or mouth to emphasise their insult. Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Michelle Obama, Nene Leakes and the rest of the Real Housewives of Atlanta crew, are queens of shade.
So, how do you get to shade someone?
It’s all about knowing about their weakness. Here’s an example:
When Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj were judges on American Idol, they had a major “fight” and the focus of the whole season was on them. Just before the season started, Mariah had an interview with Barbara Walters, who asked: “Are you the ‘bitch’ she’s (Nicki) singing about?”
Mariah rolled her eyes and responded: “I don’t know. I didn’t know she sang. I thought she rapped. Or whatever.” Burn!
So how do you apply it in real life? Let’s say you are at a dinner, where the hostess is always fancy and acting like they are the universe’s gift to the human race and you believe otherwise. But of course you said yes to attend the party because, why not? Make sure you spot that one thing that is not perfectly done - like the centrepieces are a bit overdone or look cheap, the food is not up to scratch and the hostess’s dress is underwhelming.
After you have spotted the weakest link in the party, go and greet the hostess, with the obligatory air kiss and nickname, like “Honey” or “Darling”. Then compliment them on just how wonderful everything looks, in a tone so exaggerated and sarcastic, that they don’t know how to respond. And then go for the jugular - mention how you would have done the centrepieces, but then since it’s not your party, you can cope with how mediocre they look. Then proceed to enjoy the party.
And that, dear reader, is Shade 101. You’re welcome.