On appropriation of black hairstyles

You know what really irritates me?

The fact that so many of my fellow white women copy black hair styles when there are literally HUNDREDS of different ways in which you can style non-afro textured hair to create a unique look without heat, gel, or a perm.

You want to look different? Great! Why not explore the PLETHORA of ways in which European women have styled their hair over millennia?

British, 1861-1863

Ancient Greece:

Plantagenet era


Edwardian era:



White people wearing dreads, cornrows, or other black hairstyles does not show creativity and uniqueness, it shows A TOTAL LACK THEREOF.

There are COUNTLESS braiding tutorials for hairstyles designed for non-afro textured hair available on the Internet.

A little research even shows how the VIKINGS and the ANCIENT CELTS did their hair.

You wanna stand out? You want to make a personal statement? Make it really personal by putting real time, effort, and creativity into it.


In a vague attempt to feel productive I thought I’d make up a quick and dirty “How-to Draw Braids” thing. I hope you can read my horrendous handwriting…

I hope it’s useful to someone! Braids are so much fun to draw, honestly, and the world deserves more art with pretty braids in it.

Oh, and if you want to draw Elsa-style braids, simply draw the pattern upside down. Easy-peasy!

Let me know if this helped! Show me your results! And remember, practice makes perfect. :)


CLOVEN - No. 1 of 10

After weeks of work, I am so proud and so excited to finally share more of Cloven, a personal series of 10 illustrations about friendship, gender, and determination in the face of severe consequence. Cloven is the story of how a young doe and an older buck empower each other to explore their genders in a culture that strictly segregates masculine and feminine activity. 

I’ve been sharing regular updates on Instagram @elkillustration , but here is where I can post higher resolution images that show the subtlety and detail, the real gestural love, that I put into these images. Plus close ups. 

This first piece was the real testing ground for the media I was using, a combination of oil pastel and colored pencil that allows for loose painterly marks and fine detail. I fell in love with it. 

I think many children experience guilt, boredom, and frustration when something that a parent or caretaker clearly takes a lot of stock in doesn’t matter to the child or feels like a joyless chore. That’s what I wanted to capture here, along with a yearning for an alternative…

Braids & Bilbo

Also known as Imagine knowingthe intimacy of hair braiding to Dwarves, so you ask Bilbo to do it, simply to keep it out of your face. But Thorin sees and gets extremely jealous.

A/N - I really am feeling meh about this one to be honest. I can’t decide whether I like it or not but its late as it is so I’ll just put it on. Hope you enjoy it!

Words - 1,439
Pairing - Thorin Oakenshield x Reader

You blew the long strand of hair from your face yet again.
The company had been riding for what seemed like hours and to make matters worse, it was stupidly hot.
The sweat made your hair stick to the sides of your face and made you even more uncomfortable.
You sighed and glared at Fili’s hair.
It wasn’t fair.
He had braids to keep his hair from sticking to his face.  
You shoved your hair back and growled as it fell in front of your eyes once again.
It was then you decided you had to find someone to braid your hair.
You’d do it yourself but you didn’t know how to braid hair, let alone your own.
Fili knew how to braid hair simply but you knew you couldn’t ask him unfortunately.
In Dwarven culture, hair braiding generally equated to courting or intimacy and you really didn’t fancy courting any of the dwarves.
Well, except Thorin.
You gazed at Thorin leading the pack of ponies with Fili beside him.
He probably wouldn’t mind (well at least you hoped not) but he was to be king.
He couldn’t go around braiding any old hair.
He especially couldn’t go around braiding a random human’s hair.
Balin would probably have a heart attack.
“Stop the ponies!” Thorin called from the front of the company.
You halted your pony beside the hobbit.
Then the idea struck you.
Would Bilbo know how to braid hair?

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