Possibly Unintended Imagery
From a book I'm currently reading:
Those excluded from mainstream society were also distinguished by external symbols, such as the badge stitched on the clothes of Jews or the uncovered, unkempt hair of prostitutes. In short, someone's place in society could be known at a glance. In towns the identity of each social category was regularly displayed through grand processions: each group would parade in the appropriate attire with distinctive insignia, in an order of precedence that reflected its place in the social hierarchy.
First thought -- I get the uncovered heads of prostitutes, but unkempt hair? Was this a rule? "You, whore! Put that comb down! Can't have your hair look tidy!" I'm serious -- was it a rule? Time in question is say, 12th c. For no good reason (or probably too many historical novels?), I was under the impression that in the MA unmarried women often left their hair uncovered (I've heard unbound, as well, but that makes no sense to me at all -- I've had hair down past my waist, and it gets in the way -- for people who work for a living, unbound hair makes no sense), but it seems to me that, were I to make my living as a prostitute, I'd want my hair to do its job and help attract custom.
And that last part. Yes, I know it's true. And I love the processions. But when I read that sentence, I was struck by two images: one was all of the guild masters of Ankh-Morpork trying to haggle with Lord Vetinari over who got which place in the procession -- and I bet the Seamstresses weren't last in that procession; the other was of a very flamboyant gay
I probably need to get out more.