Earlier this year, Taylor Swift was chosen Billboard’s Woman of the Year for the music industry trade’s ‘Women in Music’ issue. At 21, the ‘Ours’ singer is the youngest lady to achieve the honor and she graces the cover of the just-arrived issue looking fierce.

Swift, wearing simple, knee-length, low cut black dress with her hand perched on her hip, has her hair pulled back and her lips painted a tomato shade of red, which is her trademark. But she’s not smiling nor is she giving that surprised and shocked expression that she often dons when she is honored with an award or an accolade.

Instead, Swift is rocking an entirely new pose. She is staring straight ahead, standing tall and looking very womanly. With her 22nd birthday looming — she’ll celebrate the big day on December 13, so it’s coming down the pike — Swift is growing up right before our eyes. She’s already got a roomful of awards and nabbed a fresh batch of Grammy nominations in country categories and she is reportedly up for a major film role.

A few days away from 22 and with a new haircut, Swift is only getting started. She has not even scratched the surface of what she will achieve as the years go on.

Swift is certainly a role model for women in this eats-its-young-business. She embraces responsibility and accountability for the fans who cling to her every lyric and is squeaky clean. The moms of the 15-year-olds who worship her also have fond feelings towards Swift. She is positive proof that you don’t need to be a bad girl to get noticed, especially in the music biz.

Congrats again, T Swift. You deserve it.