The major problem with white people deciding to adopt “throwing shade” as their own is the fact that they have made it clear they don’t know how to use it. From E! News to TMZ, mainstream media outlets are sprinkling headlines with the phrase “throwing shade” even when nobody involved actually did so. While this has proven to be a hard concept for some people to understand, not every rude thing someone says or does is considered “shade.” If someone blatantly calls another celebrity an offensive term or calls them out by name in a song, that’s not shade. It’s simply someone being rude or speaking their mind. Regardless, white culture is still busy calling everything from a sneeze to a punch in the face an example of “throwing shade.”
Drake was the hip-hop star who introduced the term YOLO, which stands for “you only live once,” and it soon became a part of everyday lingo on Black Twitter. Because Drake, who has a rather diverse fan base, was the one who coined the term, nobody expected white people not to use it at all. The problem was the sheer number of times some white people seemed to use it, and the fact that it was often being used in situations that didn’t call for it. Rather than being used for its original purpose, it seemed to be a way for a number of white hipsters to try secretly exclaim “I’m a hip person who is into Black culture,” right before they did something dangerous or just downright stupid. Today, YOLO has been appropriated to the point that the Black community typically shuns the word while there doesn’t seem to be a single online boutique that doesn’t have a petite white girl modeling a YOLO shirt of some kind.