Whether you are a big Barbie fan or not, Barbie is an iconic brand that has stayed relevant throughout the years for several decades now. But one of the controversial aspects of Barbie is the body standards that have been encouraged by the shape and physique of the Barbie doll. These unrealistic standards were once more popular and accepted by the norm, but society is making a shift from that way of thinking – and the Barbie brand has made an attempt to keep up with that shift as well. But with the release of Greta Gerwig’s new “Barbie” film, another unhealthy body related trend has become popular – the Barbie foot challenge. This dangerous trend is all over social media, but what many do not realize is the dangers of trying to mimic Barbie’s feet. Read on to learn why you’d never actually want Barbie feet in real life.
As soon as the movie trailer was released, it did not take long for a popular TikTok user to mimic Barbie’s feet. TikToker Shanna Scribner posted a video showing her stepping out of high heels with her feel still arched with no support – just like Barbie, who is played by Margot Robbie. The trend has blown up, and now has over 60 million views on TikTok. While this effect may look graceful and attractive, it is actually a quick way to damage your feet. This is because the human body was not designed to operate this way. And what’s even more concerning is that there are actually people who naturally have feet kind of similar to Barbie, and it is definitely no walk in the park.
With many people online attempting the Barbie feet challenge, some people were born with feet like Barbies. Actually 20% of the population have feet like Barbie’s, and were born with a condition called cavus feet that is characterized by a really high arch in the foot. And if you are not a Barbie girl living in a Barbie world and made of plastic, it is actually a very painful condition to live with.
A regular arch makes it easy to evenly distribute weight on the foot, which is critical to balance and all sorts of aspects of structural alignment in the body. When people have cavus foot, their super high arch makes body weight unevenly distributed, which causes things like muscle weakness and imbalances. This makes it harder to absorb shock and more prone to fractures, sprains, and muscle pain. People with cavus foot sometimes have to manage the condition for their entire lives.
So attempting to mimic what is essentially known as cavus foot, when you do not naturally high arch, can be very dangerous and cause all sorts of problems in your feet. You of course risk falling and sustaining an injury that way as this is a very difficult pose to master. And if you are really spending a lot of time perfecting the Barbie high arch, it could cause you to develop some even more major issues. Even a short amount of time can cause risk of issues as well, according to celebrity podiatrist Marion Yau. “Putting your foot in an unnatural position for an extended period of time increases your risk of muscle imbalance, ankle sprains, tipping, foot pain, calf pain, and corn buildup,” Yau said.
Another podiatrist, Chanel Perkin, DPM, confirmed that the Barbie challenge is likely to have a bad ending for most people. “Pain in the toes and the ball of the feet are likely to occur simply from the forward shift of gravity needed to attempt the Barbie challenge,” Perkins said.