While everyone was busy fawning over Jennifer Lawrence on Sunday night, Britney Spears made some style news of her own with a major hair makeover -- her first since 2009.

The pop princess showed up to Elton John's Oscar party looking almost unrecognizable with straight chestnut tresses and a column of black sequins that was, despite a plunging neckline, pretty tame.

Britney Spears' new dark hair was no doubt meant to signal to us all that post-engagement, post- X Factor and whether or not this Vegas deal happens . . . she's a new woman! The thing is, when Brit starts messing with her locks, it makes me nervous. Drastic hair changes have too often been a harbinger of doom for the 31-year-old. The pink wig. The head shaving. It always starts with the hair.

Maybe the new look wasn't her choice? At least that's what I'd like to believe. Her colorist has given interviews about how they carefully selected the shade. But it's hard to imagine that a team of experts was responsible for the fact that her bangs are too short, her layers are too long, and her skin is frightfully bronzed. Is that a ring of mismatched lip liner? She looks old. She looks pageant-y. She doesn't look comfortable.

Perhaps this is what happens when handlers/managers/conservators or what have you are calling the shots, especially in the oh-so-personal looks department as often happens with someone who has a big career. If that is the case, will our new tawny Britney kick off a replay of 2007 in protest? Erratic behavior! Public meltdowns! Questionable paramours with soul patches! (NB: Her recent golf date with a law firm researcher did sound promising.)

You see, the Britney we know and love should be a platinum blonde. She needs to be a platinum blonde. Not a toned-down, I-can-handle-it-really version of herself. Her golden, brazenly unnatural hue is her signature -- just like her short-shorts and Uggs. Yes, she's a mother of two young boys. Yes, she's been around the block a few times. But how fantastic did she look in the "Scream & Shout" remix video with her Madonna-esque high ponytail? I say sticking with "classic Britney" is the best way to coax the world into believing that the kid is all right.

What do you think of the change?

 

Photo via Splash News