Commentary: LisaRaye on What Makes a Golddigger


Commentary: LisaRaye on What Makes a Golddigger

Behold, the actress's odd defense of marrying a man for money.

Published December 12, 2013

Maybe it was her time spent living in Turks and Caicos as wife of the Prime Minister. Or perhaps she spends too many hours on-set filming Single Ladies. But somewhere along the way, LisaRaye missed out on a critical vocabulary lesson: the definition of a "golddigger." This coming from a woman who publicly says she wants to marry a billionaire. Yet, here is how LisaRaye recently defined the word in an interview with Sister 2 Sister magazine: “I  think that a golddigger is a woman that wants to be taken care of, but she’s not bringing anything to the table. She just wants you to do what you’re supposed to do for her and she’s not feeling she needs to do anything.”


Then she further clarifies, adding: “Do we say that [someone is a golddigger] when the White girls say that? Do we say that when we take our kids to the Ivy League school and they go to bar mitzvahs and all of those social events? But when we’re Black, they got to be, 'She’s a golddigger.' How is that?”

This is where LisaRaye went wrong.

A golddigger is not race-specific. Yes, rappers have definitely gotten friendly with the word, making songs and skits and whatnot with it. But they did not create the term, as much as they may love it. White women get called golddiggers, too. They also get called trophy wives and a host of other synonyms that get flung around on Real Housewives of non-Black cities. In fact, if there was a poster woman for a golddigger, it would be Anna Nicole Smith. So while there are many put downs that are reserved for Black women, from Mammy to Welfare Queen, golddigger is a sexist free-for-all.

Being near rich people doesn’t make you a golddigger, it just means you are near rich people. Let’s ignore LisaRaye's assumption that bar mitzvahs are the social events of the wealthy, but let’s not ignore her implication that if you are dropping your kids off at the parties of the rich and famous that they are doing anything more than being little party guests. Even if your child is best friends with a billionaire, they are still in the same income bracket unless they decide to rob their bestie. So of course no one is shouting “golddigger” at people who drop their kids off at bar mitzvahs — because it's a play date!

Plus, going to an Ivy League school can make you poorer, not richer. See: student loans. Also see: horrific job market for college grads. Does LisaRaye believe that for every teenage girl who works hard and gets into an Ivy there is a fairy godmother who will turn her into a woman who marries the richest, biggest trust fund kid in her class? If that's the case, it's important to heed LisaRaye's advice for marital balance, which is: "as much as you want to receive, you have to learn how to give as well and appreciate that gift of being able to give.” Consider it the Golddigger Golden Rule.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks. always gives you the latest fashion and beauty trends, tips and news. We are committed to bringing you the best of Black lifestyle and celebrity culture.

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(Photo: Judy Eddy/

Written by Ayana Byrd


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