Britney Spears has had a busy year, and none of it has had to do with her music.
Her 30-day stint in a mental wellness facility left fans with unanswered questions, and now Britney's court case is drawing more and more attention.
Maybe she decided it was time for a change -- because her new look is unrecognizable.
An Instagram account by the name of Britney Spears 2000s has shared a snap of Britney Spears that has fans going wild.
The sneak snapshot (really, it looks like someone took the photo while pretending to text, right?) shows the legendary singer out in public.
But there's something majorly different about the unparalleled superstar's appearance.
She has been blonde for years and years -- to the point where it's part of how people identify and portray her.
Now, she's gone full brunette and the difference is dramatic. See for yourself:
As you can see, the woman strongly believed to be Britney is seated in a restaurant.
She is wearing a pair of dark sunglasses along with a white blouse.
Now, it is possible -- given the glasses -- that she is doing her best to obfuscate her appearance to avoid being ambushed by fans.
(If you see your favorite celeb clearly not wanting to be recognized, be cool. Say "hi" or whatever as you walk past but keep walking, buddy)
If so, her brunette hair may be a tasteful wig designed to make people less likely to recognize her.
On the other hand, let's talk about Britney's hair and the major symbolic role that it has played in her life.
Famously, Britney once shaved her head. It was intensely dramatic and many people thought that it marked the end of her career.
The truth is much more complicated.
Britney would later explain that every time that she left, even to buy groceries, her team would insist upon fixing her hair to be picture-perfect.
(Which makes sense, as reports say that they were also guaranteeing that TMZ would be there to photograph Britney, no matter how mundane her activities.)
In order to reclaim a measure of independence and control over her own body, Britney shaved her head herself. It marked her freedom.
Why is this valuable history lesson relevant to her going brunette, possibly with just an Alias wig?
Because Britney is currently battling her own father in court as she petitions for greater freedoms.
Jamie Spears has wielded his conservatorship over Britney -- a conservatorship that was originally supposed to last only a weekend -- for 11 long years.
Earlier this year, even Britney's mom, Lynn, took an interest in checking if Jamie is really deciding what's best for their daughter.
Britney is an adult woman and a first-rate mom who can make her own choices in life.
So, has Britney altered her hair in a symbolic push for independence from her controlling father who micromanages all of her affairs?
It's certainly possible. She's gone "dark" before, such as during the Blackout era.
(If you measure moments in your adult life by silly things like "years" or "life milestones" instead of Britney eras, don't even talk to me)
That would be a much less drastic but still fairly obvious deviation from the image that so many people have constructed of her.
But, for the moment, Britney hasn't uploaded any photos or videos with brown hair. Nor have there been confirmed sightings of her as a brunette.
So let's wait and see if additional pics start cropping up.