What is the Barbie Feet trend? Experts warn against “dangerous” viral trend

Alice Sjöberg
Barbie foot trend

After the highly anticipated release of the Barbie movie, the Barbie feet challenge is now taking TIkTok by storm as fans try to recreate a scene from the film. But health experts are now warning against the “dangerous” trend.

As Barbie has taken the cinematic world by storm by becoming the biggest box office debut in 2023, it’s no wonder that it’s also made an impact on social media.

With Barbie content taking over social media platforms, one trend has caused health experts to worry, and that’s the Barbie feet challenge.

But what exactly is it? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the Barbie Feet challenge on TikTok?

When the first teaser for the Barbie film was released, viewers were stunned when they saw a short clip of Margot Robbie’s feet getting out of a pair of heels but remaining in the iconic arched way seen on every Barbie doll.

Speaking about the famous scene, Robbie told The Project that it didn’t actually require as much effort as people expected.

“There’s no special effects, you’d be amazed how few [special effects] there are in this film actually,” she said. “We didn‘t do that many takes of it, a couple of takes and I kind of held on to a bar so I was sturdy when I stepped.”

“We just put double-sided tape on the floor so that my shoes stayed still and I did have a pedicure that morning.”

As the release of the movie crept closer, fans wanted to try to recreate the scene for themselves, which soon turned into the Barbie Feet challenge.

The hashtag has racked up over 40 million views on TikTok with thousands of videos of people trying to recreate Margot Robbie’s foot scene.

What is so dangerous about the trend?

As the trend has grown incredibly popular in a very short amount of time, health experts have now released a warning against people participating in the trend.

“Although 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 ok and produce a great TikTok video,” Dr. Jodi R. Schoenhaus, DPM, RPhs, FACFAS, and board-certified podiatrist at Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center, told The NY Post.

“However, if attempting the pose and stride over long periods, there are some risks involved. The ankle is unstable, which can lead to ligament sprains and injuries, commonly seen with high heel use.”

Dr. Schoenhaus added that the high-arched position of the Barbie foot can lead to muscle and spine issues since it strains the lower back — and it can also damage growth plates, a warning to younger girls who are still growing.


Many think this foot position is similar to simply wearing high heels, but Schoenhaus points out that there’s a big difference: support.

The foot may be in the same position both when wearing heels and when standing in the Barbie arch, but the heels add support to the heel and rear of the foot while Barbie Foot has no support at all, placing more strain on the body.

“To walk on your toes without heels isn’t sustainable, and, in fact, the reality in the movie is that Barbie actually has flatfeet, along with 30% of the population,” Schoenhaus explained. “Considering we aren’t trained ballerinas en pointe, let’s keep the fad to movie stars who have props and multiple takes to make it look perfect.”

Check out more of our coverage of Barbie below:

Barbie review | Barbie ending explained Barbie Easter eggs | Barbie 2 | Barbie post-credits scene | Barbie cast | Barbie soundtrack

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