There’s Gold in Them Thar Heels!

I read a piece in the latest issue of Essence magazine about big screen and TV actress LisaRaye McCoy proudly touting her “Gold Digger” status.  She was quoted as saying she’d “been digging for gold since high school” and was “past platinum now”.   The piece closed with McCoy’s words of wisdom, apparently handed down from her mother: “Get with someone who can take care of himself so he can take care of you and what you’re bringing to the table.  That should be the definition of digging”. Um, I’m thinking a slow clap is in order.

As I re-read the short filler piece, I found myself oddly torn over whether I deemed her closing argument uncomfortably shallow or strikingly femme! Could it be the term “Gold Digger” is a misnomer for a mindset that makes no bones about expecting your potential life partner to be able to take care of one person (himself), before being good enough to take care of two or more (you, and any babies you may produce together)? For starters, what is a Gold Digger anyway?  Here are two definitions offered by

  1. A female who admires successful men as opposed to mediocre and unaccomplished men. She lives by the code: Lack of money can’t buy love and happiness.
  2. A generally attractive person who seeks out relationships with “sugar mamas” or “sugar daddies” for monetary gain. A gold digger can be female or male. It is often a mutually opportunistic relationship: the rich person gets sex or companionship and the “Digger” gets money.

But by McCoy’s standard—and that of many other Execumamas, I’m sure—it’s more about sensible life planning than wallet-attached-to-man hunts by women with little ambition.  LisaRaye has her own career, and noted in the article that she was already a millionaire before she married her now ex.  In that vein, what about women who worked hard, some with babies in tow, to build successful careers for themselves?  Should they be open to the idea of marrying a man who doesn’t at least measure up financially?  Is there something amiss with the idea of restricting your dating pool to men who don’t need you to foot the bill at a restaurant, or front him some cash until his next gig pays big?

I thought about what I might tell my daughters when they become of age.  If I put my Mother Teresa habit on, I’d say: Honey, love is love, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to focus on how someone makes you feel inside, and whether he genuinely seems to love you.  Sound advice, right?  But um, what if he’s the Bees Knees in almost every area, but homeboy hardly ever has two nickels to rub together; you know, the starving artist type?  Or what if he has a perfectly decent job, making okay money, but certainly not enough were if they were to marry, they could live off of his income alone. Should money matter when it comes to love?

What are your thoughts on sites like where women can pick from “carefully screened” rich men?  Gold Digger’s paradise or smart woman’s timesaving tool?  Is there more that a financially secure man brings to the table than money?  What of the argument that if Beyonce had married Richard Bupkis (random dude) instead of Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Richard wouldn’t have had enough experience with the level of hustle it takes to build and maintain that sort of financial status?  Would Richard Bupkis truly understand why his wife felt compelled to work 18-hour days, tour six times per year for weeks at a time, and entertain every endorsement deal that comes her way? Is a rich person’s mentality (pardon the pun here) a poor match for the average wage earner? The jury’s still out for me, so I thought I’d ask you. Well, what do you think?

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