The Hollywood Gossip would like to take a moment to send birthday greetings to the land of the free and home of the brave. America, happy 231st!
What better way to celebrate than with barbecues, fireworks and a little celebrity gossip?
Well, regardless of how you feel about the last part, we decided that today, we'd pay tribute to one of our favorite stars: An All-American sweetheart, Lauren Conrad.
We came across an article in the New York Times about Lauren and her emerging hit series, The Hills, that sums up brilliantly why millions of viewers have fallen in love with the girl next door known simply as LC.
Below is the Times' take on Lauren the mogul ...
For three years, MTV tried to get viewers to fall in love with Lauren Conrad, the star of the Laguna Beach and The Hills. Wary, watchful, and sometimes cheerless Lauren made audience adoration unlikely.
But that was before the second season of The Hills, when Lauren appeared in a sweet and lonely scene, sorting laundry in her Los Angeles apartment.
There was a mountain of unironed clothes and there was the unassuming Lauren Conrad, a fashion student who would later start her own fashion line, focused solely on folding.
As she brought the straps of an overworn lilac tank top in line with its hem, as if it were fine linen, she was suddenly adorable. She was Lauren, Laundress of Reality TV.
At least a million viewers per episode had, at last, found love.
The diligent Lauren Conrad punched into the reality TV world three years ago, and with Season 3 of The Hills set for late summer, her shift's not over yet.
After starring in Laguna Beach for two seasons, and then in her very own Hills, which chronicles her travails as an intern at Teen Vogue, Lauren has, without fanfare, turned her young adult life over to scrutiny.
LC writes on her official site of her initial venture into exhibitionism, which largely showed her nervous and heartbroken:
"It turned out to be a cool experience. It changed us all in a good way, and I feel fortunate to have my own personal video yearbook of those great times."
It's surprising her memories are so fond, as she has often seemed like the loser on her shows. After falling for a surfer on Laguna Beach, she lost him to breezy Kristin Cavallari.
On the first season of The Hills, she gave up a once-in-a-career Paris internship so she could spend the summer fighting with deadbeat boyfriend Jason Wahler.