Selena Gomez is officially no longer teenager! The former Disney princess, current pop star, film siren and Bieber lover has made it out of her childhood years with nary a scratch.

I have to say, this little lady really makes me proud. Sure, her image is a little saccarine sweet, but I'd rather have our little Latinas looking up to someone who clearly respects herself enough to make sure she steered way clear of the drug, sex and rock & roll that so many other teen stars have fallen prey to. Gomez has her head on straight and a incredibly bright future to look forward to!

HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY Selenita...

I think there are quite a few reasons Selena has been able to avoid the pitfalls of fame at such a young age, and they really begin with her family. Selena saw how hard her mom worked to give her every opportunity she possibly could and with those sacrifices seared into her memory, she's made sure to never take one moment of her incredible life for granted.

I, personally, feel like she's been handling her transition from teeny bopper star to young female actress with grace and candor. Whenever she's asked about growing up in front of the press she's honest about how hard it as times, but she never forgets who got her where she was, and that's millions of tiny, pre-pubescent little girls who follow her every move and hang on her every word. Selena really seems to have a true appreciation and understanding of this, which is why--even though she is reminding everyone she's all grown up with sexy spreads in Elle and Glamour--essentially, she always stays grounded and out of trouble.

Selena's had a big year, with a new breakout role in the edgy film Spring Breakers, a huge hit album, and of course--one of Hollywood's most photographed romances with the ubiquitous Justin Bieber. I think she's only just begun!

Do your kids love Selena Gomez? Do you think she is a good role model?

About the author

Mariela is the Managing Editor of Mamás Latinas. She's also a politics and pop culture junkie and lover of all NY sports teams (except the Mets--'cause really, come on).

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