Rowley Jefferson embodies all of us


Noor Fatima

In the hit series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Rowley Jefferson is often depicted as the naive best friend of Greg Heffley. The Sidekick executive editor-in-chief Angelina Liu believes that Jefferson reflects a common trait embodied by humans.

Angelina Liu, Editor-in-chief

When people think of Rowley Jefferson from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the first image that comes to mind is a short, pudgy ginger with freckles and a bowl cut. He’s good natured, often helping his best friend, Greg Heffley, with his endeavors to become popular in middle school. 

Although quirky at times, his genuine personality makes him an ideal friend and person. 

Jefferson often dismisses his own desires to be a better friend towards Heffley, which often gets him in trouble with his parents. In many ways, Jefferson embodies the song “Mirrorball” by Taylor Swift. 

In the first book of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Heffley convinces Jefferson to play a game where he must ride a Big Wheel down a steep hill, while Heffley attempts to use a football to knock him off the bike. The football causes Jefferson to be launched into the air, subsequently breaking his left arm. Heffley laughs while Jefferson withers in pain. 

In “Mirrorball, Swift describes the feeling of having to succumb to others’ wishes in order to satisfy other people’s desires, despite having no personal gain. She feels as if she must be a reflector of light, always bouncing the beauty and enamour onto those who surround her, keeping none of the joy, beauty and color for herself. It is mentally and emotionally draining and yet she continues to contort to match what others want. 

“I’ve never been a natural/All I do is try, try, try/I’m still on that trapeze/I’m still trying everything/To keep you looking at me”

Throughout the book, Jefferson is mistreated and pushed around by the one person he idolizes. He even buys a journal to be more like Heffley, disposing of it when they eventually fall out. He does Heffley’s homework, gives him piggyback rides and exerts copious amounts of energy and time to Heffley, with no return. 

In the song, Swift speaks about how the more shattered a mirrorball is, the greater the beauty of the rays of shimmering light. However, the more the ball cracks, in order to appease the people that surround it, the harder it is to come back from twisting yourself for other people. 

In many ways, Jefferson is much like all of us. We waste valuable energy and periods of our lives reflecting light back onto people, shattering and breaking in a million different ways to appeal to friends, family and significant others. 

Jefferson eventually finds the courage to demand respect for himself after an unforgivable situation, where Heffley forces him to take the blame for terrorizing kindergartners with worms. 

He comes to terms with the disrespect he endured while being a friend to Heffley. Even though Jefferson still possessed copious amounts of love for his best friend, he realized that he could not be a subject of unfairness and selfishness anymore. 

He tells Heffley the following haunting words

 “Don’t call me.”

“Don’t come by my house.” 

“We’re done.” 

We must find the Heffley within our own lives and reconsider friendship with them. Friendships should never be forced, and a friend who makes you feel like you aren’t enough unless you do everything to appease them isn’t a friend worth keeping.

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