Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

becoming what I mean February 25, 2013

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:16 pm
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“I will not become what I mean to you.”

-Barbara Kruger

I read this quote in the book Blueprints for Better Girls (which was painful to read and not about bettering anyone).  The quote is interesting.  I suspect that one could ruminate for a long time on all the permutations it triggers.  I think it will mean something new to you almost every time you consider it.

Kruger is an artist who creates these slogans as a kind of anti-establishment declaration, meant to challenge the viewer.  You can read more about her in this article from Mother Jones magazine.

My first connection to this quote was to recall a youthful romance.  It could have been spoken by the young man.  In reality, he did not become what he meant to me.  And yet he did, because I fashioned him in the image I desired, and so he remained in memory, inviolate.

My children could say this to me.  I could say it to them.

In some ways, it’s a fatalistic thought.  We are bound to disappoint.  In other ways, it’s a liberating thought.  We are imperfect, and accepting that, we are free to be whoever we grow to be.

What does it mean to you?

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4 Responses to “becoming what I mean”

  1. I see it more as a defiant thought. A woman saying she will not become the drudge, the servant, the slave she means to the man..An excellent exercise though trying to see it as meaning other things. xx Hugs

  2. Roberta Says:

    To me it is tragic when someone has so little self-esteem that they subvert their own self to comply to the wishes of others in order to be ‘loved.’ True, lasting love can only come when two people are in love with each other’s authentic selves and not a facade worn by the other person. And no person should settle for a relationship with anyone but a person who can respect and cherish them for who they truly are.


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