By Esther Kustanowitz

We love to watch celebrities and critique their behavior. Maybe we shouldn't. Maybe we should let them make their own mistakes. Or maybe we should assess celebrity behavior this year and determine which celebrities could use some suggestions for New Year's Resolutions to make 2009 a great year. And that's just what we've done. So Britney, Madonna, Jennifer and others, listen up.

The first suggested celebrity New Year's Resolution is...

Esther D. Kustanowitz blogs at Idol Chatter and in lots of other places, including MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com. She is based in Los Angeles, so she can keep careful watch over our celebrities in 2009.


Oh, Madonna. Is there a year that you don't go through the wringer, between marriage issues, albums that don't seem to perform up to expectations, and trying to balance family and a world tour? You're a Superwoman if ever there was one. But this year, while your body and musical body of work show no signs of eroding, the now is what requires your attention. The divorce from Guy is happening, and there are three children to think of.

Of course quality child care is available for someone with infinite cash flow, but for children, that does not replace a mother. Hopefully, Madonna's new year's resolution is to come to resolutions about child-rearing that involve her soon-to-be-ex and provide the kids with the support they need during this time. It's all fine and good to dance out your frustrations on-stage, because it's kind of like an acceptable "acting out." For children, "acting out" is rarely considered a professional performance. Sticky and sweet, indeed.

Britney Spears

With no head-shaving incidents to point to this year, the only Britney madness we have is the fact that she has a new album out which is underwhelming reviewers, and that she and K-Fed are possibly planning to give their relationship (and their marriage) another shot.

While this might signal a happy ending for Brit and K-Fed's two boys, we would like to urge our girl to really assess, through group and individual therapy if possible, whether she and K-Fed are right for each other, or if this is a partnership of convenience, so neither has to get back out there in the speculation spotlight. While angst often breeds better music, resolution of your issues raises healthier children in the end...at least until little Sean Preston's friends start making fun of his mom for kissing Madonna on TV.

Sarah Palin

Oh gee. We're almost out of things to say, don'tcha know. We're sure you're a nice lady, and we sure don't want to anger a politician who clearly knows how to shoot a gun. But maybe Katie Couric's interview with you illustrated a point: it's fine to say you don't read newspapers and magazines if that's your truth, but if you do read mags and can't remember them, it's possible the American people may require more from their Vice-Presidents.

So our advice is twofold: first of all, it's clearly time to invest in some magazine subscriptions in the new year, which you should ideally read and digest, but at least commit to memory which titles are arriving. Secondly, change your venue and change your luck. Your perky personality would be great on a talk show: you could cook with Rachael Ray, or interview folks like Joe Sixpack on your own show. We're sure the offers will come in. Consider them for your second act instead of a run in 2012. Please. That's something we'd vote for, you betcha.

Celebrity Baby Names

While technically not a person, celebrity baby names have gotten out of control. In previous years, we had Pilot Inspektor (Jason Lee's kid) and Moxie Crimefighter (still possibly the best, from Penn Gillette). But this year, we got a bunch of unusual but still passable names, like Sunny (Adam Sandler's post-Zohan production); Archie (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler); and Honor (Jessica Alba's daughter).

But all these names are at least a mile from Bronx Mowgli, for which we can thank Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson. Perhaps this is the real warning about getting pregnant too young: you make name choices that will come back to haunt you when you enter your late twenties. Mowgli works if you're planning to keep your kid in a loincloth and let him be raised by a pack of wolves. But maybe that's some sort of metaphor for how the media treats celebrity children. So while we ponder that, we'd urge parents to resolve to ponder one question before they give the doctor the name for their kid's birth certificate: "If I weren't famous, would my kid be made fun of for a name like this?" If the answer is yes, go back to the baby books. We'll be quiet now.

Robert Pattinson

Some of us know what it's like, being pale and cute with a haircut you'd probably prefer you didn't have. And getting into character as a vampire with a heart does require a bit of withdrawal from social norms. It's a tough life, we know. But we're begging you: please stop complaining that your director from "Twilight" has asked you to keep your hair long. You're in a hit movie that's making a ton of money and putting you on magazine covers, so just look like the character for a little while: bare your fangs, shake your floppy hair and make the teenage girls happy, ok? Or we'll put in a call to Zac Efron and see if those adorable eyes of his are available.

Jennifer Aniston

Jen, we're so happy to see you back in the spotlight, making movies and reminding us that you're a fine comedic and dramatic actress. But we're kind of disappointed that your return means "Marley & Me" (you and Owen Wilson and a dog?) as well as endless tabloids speculation on your relationship with John Mayer.

If you're just dysfunctional friends with benefits, that's fine, but we'd recommend for the health of everyone concerned, admit it to yourself and to members of the tabloid press so we don't have to suffer through the daily "they're together!/they're broken up" dance. Do resolve to do more comedy, maybe with Tina Fey on "30 Rock." And refrain from commenting further on the whole Brangelina thing. We all know that no matter how many babies the Jolie-Pitts have or adopt, it's Brad's loss, and let's all move on from there. We want you to be healthy and happy, so when the "Friends" reunion show comes calling, you'll be able to negotiate your salary from a position of strength.

Michelle Williams

Our collective hearts broke for you when you lost Heath Ledger and your daughter lost her father. Now we hear that Heath's family is giving you grief over who might accept a award on Heath's behalf at the awards shows. It's enough to drive anyone mad, but we want you to know we're behind you. Just keep doing your own thing: churn out quality, intense performances and be a good mom to Matilda. But if you're looking for something you can change in the new year, resolve to sign on for a comedy once in a while: it might be just the emotional release you need.

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt

Who watches "The Hills" anyway? We don't. And not only do we hate that we know who LC is, but we didn't even have to look up Heidi and Spencer's last names. This is all we know about them: they were on "The Hills," and now they're sort of married and are looking into getting really married. But we don't care. And yet their names are all over the news online and off. So here's a New Year's resolution for Heidi and Spencer: do something of significance, anything, to earn your prominence in pop culture dialogue. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, or start a blog that you write yourselves, or become spokespeople for UNICEF. Something. Do something. Please. We're begging you.

Amy Winehouse

Next time they make you try to go to rehab, just say, "yes, yes, yes." Until you get healthy, that's all we have for you.

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