Does love still matter in the 21st century? Why is it when a good-looking woman marries a rich man, we always assume she is marrying him for his net worth?

While tall, dark and handsome was once the criteria for a dream man, the new breed of women today will tell you she will settle for short and ugly … as long as he comes with cold hard cash.

It really seems like some women are more interested in how much moolah a man has in his checking account than how much love he has in his heart.

Gad Elmaleh and Audrey Tautou Star in Priceless. A young gold digger(Tautou)mistakenly woos a mild- mannered bartender (Elmaleh)thinking he's a wealthy suitor.
Gad Elmaleh and Audrey Tautou Star in Priceless. A young gold digger(Tautou)mistakenly woos a mild- mannered bartender (Elmaleh)thinking he’s a wealthy suitor.

So just who are this new breed of women? There is a name for them – gold diggers.

We constantly see them fictionalised on the big screen; an upcoming Malaysian movie Pisau Cukur tells of two gold diggers who pursue rich men on a cruise ship.

In the French movie Priceless, Audrey Tautou is cast as a beautiful woman who selects her beaus based on the size of their wallets and there are also real-life celebrities who have been labelled that by the media. Remember the late Anna-Nicole Smith and her old but rich husband?.

More recently, Heather Mills was accused of being a gold digger when she married Paul McCartney despite proclaiming her love forthe Beatle. Of course, her divorce settlement of £24.3mil (RM170mil) did not do well to support her case.

I’m sure many of us know of a friend who is in a relationship with with someone completely wrong for her but so perfect for her Gucci and Prada penchant.

Here are a few of those kinds of stories …

For love or money?

Self-confessed gold digger Sasha, 28, shares her thoughts: “I want to be financially stable and everyone knows that one of the fastest ways to do this is to marry a rich man. Is there anything wrong with wanting to live a good life, even if it means having love come second?”

Heather Mills
Heather Mills

Sasha’s view is not uncommon. Years ago, families eagerly married off their young daughters to the most sought-after bachelors who most often hailed from well-to-do families.

The only difference is, back then women had to be coquettish to attract a man. Today, she literally has to put herself out there in her best skimpy black dress!

Examples of successful pursuits in would include the achievements of soccer wives Coleen McLoughlin and Cheryl Tweedy – women who are known for whom they marry rather than their own successes.

Still, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you think about it, even Cinderella did everything she could to nab her Prince Charming.

But it seems the act of gold digging is getting more attention today and shamelessly aiming for the richest is accepted and even highly advocated. In fact, there are online sites –, – to help gold diggers snag themselves a champion.

Psychologist Dr Sheila Keegan agrees, “People want an instant route to fame, wealth and success. Greed is no longer perceived as a bad thing, and women are admired for being smart, but not necessarily clever. It’s seen as a question of who’s using whom. Anna Nicole Smith may have got millions, but J Howard Marshall got to share his bed with a beautiful busty blonde while he was in his 80s.”

With divorce rates on theup, some may even see marrying rich as a safety net should anything go wrong. Think of it as a business transaction.

She compromises on good looks and a great sense of humour for a secure future and comfortable life. And should the marriage end, Miss Gold Digger still gets to walk away with a hefty settlement.

“Relationships are about compromise, aren’t they?” says Tasmina Perry, the author of Daddy’s Girl, a book which examines the subject. “Gold diggers are just prepared to compromise that little bit more than most.”

Anna Nicole Smith
Anna Nicole Smith

Can money really buy love? Apparently so, if you go by the trend. As righteous as a woman may want to be, how many can actually say they are not tempted by the thought of being showered with gifts, diamonds, luxurious holidays and an easy comfortable life?

Even after earning her own money (and lots of it as well), sometimes a woman just wants to be pampered. Besides, after the love is gone, which is more enticing – a mortgage and loans, or a charming penthouse suite and an unlimited supplementary charge card? director Paul Homewood defends the gold digger.

“There is an opinion that women on this site are just after the men for their money. But in fact, most of them are here for the quality of the men,” he says. “They are looking for men who have ambition, who want to get on in life. The men on here are professional men, city bankers, doctors and so on. Why shouldn’t that be attractive to women?”

Bye-bye feminism

Does this spell the death of feminism and equality? Have all that women fought so hard for come to this: the size of his pay check and the car he drives?

And what happens when Mr Millionaire decides to go for a younger and more attractive gold digger?

“I’ve dated men after men, all of whom have bought me gifts, wined and dined me at the most expensive restaurants,” says Lina. “Yes, sometimes I get dumped for another taller, prettier, sexier woman. It happens. But I am sure one day I will find my man, and he will be able to provide me with not only love and a good life for me and our children.”

It is not difficult to see why more and more men are complaining about how hard it is to meet women who are sincere. “Unsuitable” men are brushed off simply for not wearing the right suit or living at the ideal address. i

If he has a lot, he wins; if he barely makes enough, then he’ll spend Valentine’s Day all aloneuntil he does.

For better or for worst, for richer or for poorer? Forget about it – in the gold digger’s world, it is all about the money.

Like Madonna sang in Material Girl, “They can beg and they can please. But they can’t see the light, that’s right. Cause the boy with the cold hard cash is always mister right.”

Subjects’ names have been changed to protect their privacy. Some quotes were sourced from and

How to spot a gold digger

  • She wants to marry. Now. A gold digger for push for marriage fast so that she won’t lose out on the opportunity with Mr. Rich. 
  • She gives love. Quickly. Want to snag him now? Miss Gold Digger will quickly dish out good old loving for her target to snare him. 
  • She plays the role of a good wife. Too soon. She cooks, cleans and washes. She doesn’t nag him when he goes out with the guys. Why? So she can show him exactly what a great partner she will be.
  • She makes him pay for everything. Always. Pay for her dinner. Buy her the latest designer bag. Help out with her credit card bill. A gold digger will have no qualms asking him for financial favours. That’s what he is for anyway, right.