Greta Gerwig’s runaway blockbuster, Barbie, has become the highest-grossing domestic release for Warner Bros. With its pink corvettes and dance sequences, the movie Barbie has given new life to the Barbie doll—which is making a comeback after losing relevance with its main customer base. However, Barbie has inspired some girls and women to try the “Barbie Foot Challenge”—recreating a scene from the movie where Barbie steps out of a high heel onto the floor, holding her foot with the signature Barbie arch.

The scene quickly became iconic, with female viewers attempting to imitate that shoeless walk. But podiatrists say that this is a dangerous stunt that may seem harmless but can have dangerous results. The podiatrists at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists want to weigh in on this new trend and speak to the potential hazards and risks of taking the Barbie Foot Challenge and engaging in this latest craze. 

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Barbie Foot ChallengeThe Story Behind Barbie’s Feet

When Mattel invented Barbie in 1959, the company gave the doll slanted, arched feet because women were wearing stiletto heels at the time. Starlets like Marilyn Monroe drove the fashion, and Barbie was meant to be a stylish doll, so Mattel permanently arched her feet to wear high heels. In the real world, Barbie would have chronic foot issues if she always wore heels and walked on the balls of her feet. Likewise, the doll's proportions would make it difficult for a real Barbie to stand upright and walk.

What is the Barbie Foot Challenge?

Millions of people worldwide have seen Barbie, and after a TikTok user posted her own video stepping out of a pair of high heels and keeping her foot arched, women have tried to replicate the movie scene by stepping out of their shoes and doing the same.

“Show me how well you can do the #BarbieFootChallenge,” the TikTok user said. 

Many people videotaped and posted themselves taking the Barbie Foot Challenge, some gaining millions of views. Some shoe designers created their own videos showing women Barbie-walking in their brand of high heels. Chrissy Teigen posted her own attempt on Instagram, saying, “Ow!”

How the Scene Was Filmed

Women may not know that the scene from Barbie required movie magic. Margot Robbie, the star of Barbie, explained that she couldn’t step from her shoes without double-sided tape and a hidden bar for body support. The tape and the bar helped steady her and take her weight off her feet. This helped prevent Robbie from suffering injuries such as ankle twists and foot sprains, and it took eight takes to get the scene right.

Risks of the Barbie Foot Challenge and Potential Foot Injuries

Like many other viral social media challenges, this one can be risky too. Medical professionals and podiatrists quickly spoke up to warn women about foot health concerns and the potential dangers of trying to recreate the foot scene from the Barbie movie. 

What Our DFW Foot Doctor Says About the Barbie Foot Challenge

The podiatrists at Alliance Foot and Ankle Specialists are not the only ones concerned with the possible health outcomes of trying to walk like Barbie. Other doctors have also spoken out about the Barbie Foot Challenge, stating that while the Barbie Arch makes a woman's legs appear longer and toner, it is not without risk. If someone attempts the pose once or twice, they will likely be okay. However, some risks are involved if they attempt the pose and stride over long periods. The ankle is unstable in this position, which can lead to ligament sprains and injuries, commonly seen with high heel use.

Other health experts say that if girls and women spend too much time in the Barbie position, they are more likely to suffer stress fractures, plantar plate injuries, and sesamoiditis—inflammation in the balls of the feet. Attempting to force your feet into this unnatural position can affect a person’s balance and lead to falls and injuries. Because this stance has less stability, there is a high risk of an ankle inversion sprain.

  • The high-arched, tip-toe foot position places more strain on your lower back, leading to muscle and spine problems.
  • The pose can injure a girl’s growth plates.
  • The position is more prone to injury in bare feet.

Women who wear high heels have some support of the heel and rearfoot. However, there is no support for the Barbie Foot Challenge, which places more strain on the body. One expert says that most women are not trained ballerinas, and this fad should be left to movie stars with props and multiple takes to perfect it. 

Another expert states that attempting to try the Barbie Walk repeatedly puts an unnatural strain on the feet. Doing this for extended periods can be dangerous and cause injuries, and it’s best to leave the Barbie Walk to Barbie.

Other Foot Problems if You Wear High Heels

If you’ve been hurt while attempting the Barbie Foot Challenge, you’ll likely need treatment for any possible foot or ankle injuries, including sprains and fractures. If you’ve repeatedly performed the Barbie Foot Challenge over an extended period, you may now have a condition such as Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis. If you wear high heels consistently, you may face changes in the structure of your foot, muscle imbalance, and chronic foot pain. You also may experience muscle fatigue. Because wearing high heels changes the natural position of your feet, you may have bunions, corns, and calluses.

Choose Our DFW Podiatrists for Your Foot and Ankle Health

If you have pain in your feet or ankles, it can negatively impact your life and interfere with your daily routine. You need a compassionate, skilled podiatrist to work with you to determine the cause and provide treatment based on your specific needs. With 30 years of experience, the podiatrists at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists understand the relationship between your feet and your overall health. Whether your condition requires therapy, orthotics, or surgery, we offer leading-edge medical care to address your unique situation.

Schedule a Free Consultation

We offer patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area safe, effective, and affordable treatment plans. If you’re struggling with a foot or an ankle problem, call us today at 817-481-4000, or click the button above to fill out our contact form to make an appointment. 

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