Amelia Crowder, courtesy photo

Being a beauty queen “is so much more than just the glitzy pageant dresses and feeling like a porcelain doll,” says Amelia Crowder.

She should know: She’s Mrs. Rio Rancho, a stay-at-home mother.

Earning such a title — obviously tougher than merely applying to be Mrs. Rio Rancho and being accepted — she said, should mean “being compassionate about helping others, getting involved in your community and helping it thrive.”

For her, it does.

“Before I even thought about being a mama, I was modeling and also pursuing a career in cosmetology,” she said. “I learned very quickly (that) hair was not for me, but the make-up/aesthetics part really stood out, seeing as how I’ve always loved cosmetics.”

She has been a makeup artist for more than 10 years.

“My favorite part of makeup is helping other women feel beautiful, she said. “I have worked for Elizabeth Arden, Lancôme, Estée Lauder and so many more. I’m very passionate about all brands and types — I do not discriminate against a single one.”

Born in the rolling hills of Tennessee, Crowder, 33, says she is “a creative, amiable and optimistic person who thrives on learning and experiencing new things.

“I attribute my positive Southern Baptist upbringing to my wonderful parents, William and Judy Westmoreland,” she continued. “Since I was little, I’ve always been very family-oriented. I started out loving all things girly at such a young age, from fashion to beauty and modeling, so it’s no surprise I am involved in beauty pageants and competing for Mrs. New Mexico.”

Crowder’s husband, Andrew, is in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base, which is why the family moved to New Mexico.

“I love the suburb of Rio Rancho and how much pride and effort we work at making it one of the best cities in New Mexico,” she said. “We moved from Japan, where we were last stationed, and gave birth at Lovelace Westside to our beautiful baby girl, Araina, now 2 years old. Together, we also have another daughter, Faith (12).”

Crowder, who collects coffee mugs, said she enjoys giving back to her new community: “I advocate for mental health awareness and that is my standing point in this pageant. I also have a lot of love for music, blogging, gardening and reading — just a few of my hobbies.

“What I am most passionate about is helping others. Anything I can do that will benefit someone else is the absolute goal,” Crowder added. “One day, I hope to create something that truly represents beauty, mental health and the natural environment of giving — something that reflects all the positive attributes of our wonderful state.”

She’s not sure when the Mrs. New Mexico state pageant will be held. Like almost everything else, the pandemic has put the date and location on hold.

Gary Herron | Observer staff writer