We'll admit it: When Selena Gomez first graduated from Disney University, fresh off of Wizards of Waverly Place, we were a bit skeptical. We're constantly bombarded by tween stars, most of whom either fall off the pop-culture radar before we get a chance to blink or turn into, well, the Lindsay Lohans of the world. But, now that we've had a couple of years to digest Justin Bieber's former flame, we're totally eating our words.
Not only is she pretty-darn talented (surpassing Jay Z on Spotify is no small feat), but she's grown into a pretty amazing young woman — smart, confident, and relatively scandal-free. Her beauty and fashion sense aside (way to kill it at the VMAs, girl!), she's a rock-solid role model who's showing us all a thing or two about girl power and the importance of supporting our fellow ladies. Call her the anti-Miley, if you must, but we have a feeling Selena's about to be the next big thing. Sure, she's a little younger than most of us, but that doesn't mean we can't give credit where credit is due.