‘Diary’ Blasts ‘Wimpy’ Participation Trophy Mindset
The protagonist in the successful “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series cares more about “Twisted Wizard” than any War on Christmas. He’s obsessed with looking cool, staying out of trouble and getting the attention of Holly Hills.
He leaves the pipeline protests and gender pronouns to everyone else. His latest misadventures, though, suggest a sudden feisty side to him.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid 11: Double Down” finds author Jeff Kinney’s creation battling his mother about his screen time obsession. He’s also making a movie featuring ol’ chum Rowley and some gummy worms.
In between, Kinney’s character weighs in on a subject many parents will instantly applaud. It’s the damage our Participation Trophy culture is doing to tomorrow’s adults.
FAST FACT: Jeffy Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series has sold more than 180 million print copies.
Greg shares his horror at how his little brother’s soccer team got feted with a trophy celebration even though they were awful all season. One player cared more about stuffing grass into his belly button than scoring goals.
“I thought only the kids on the WINNING team would get trophies, which is how it worked when I played soccer,” Greg writes in his “Diary.” “But I guess some parents were worried the kids on the losing team might feel bad about themselves, so this year EVERYONE got a trophy.”
He wasn’t happy about it. And, for a pre-teen, he’s pretty savvy about the big picture.
“I wonder if these kids will be messed up later on in life, though,” he adds.
Kinney ends the scene with a silly gag about the quality of the trophies Greg sees around town. Parents will still be silently nodding as they read the passage to their children.
It’s hard not to consider our Participation Trophy mentality while watching the news of late. Thousands of petulant progressives destroying property, hurling insults and demanding a recount when their preferred presidential candidate lost.
Turns out many of the rioters didn’t even bother to vote in the first place.
You don’t get participation trophies in life. Getting them as a child doesn’t do anyone much good.
Even a “Wimpy Kid” like Greg Heffley knows that.
I loved the shot that Inside Out took at participation trophies. Culturally, the tide seems to be turning against them (if not what they have spawned). As a kid growing up in the ’80s just when that garbage was starting, I remember my soccer team getting a participation trophy even though we were in last place, and all of us being confused. Why were they giving us something we hadn’t won? We certainly didn’t feel empowered or confidence-boosted by it at all.