May 27, 2024

Doctors Are Warning Girls About TikTok’s Viral #BarbieFootChallenge

  • People are imitating Barbie’s arched feet in a viral TikTok trend called the “#barbiefootchallenge.”
  • But doctors are warning fans not to mimic the doll’s walking style repeatedly.
  • “Doing this for extended periods of time can be dangerous and cause injuries,” said a podiatrist.

The box office smash hit that is the “Barbie” movie may have ignited fan fervor for all things Barbie, but fans may want to steer clear of imitating the popular doll’s arched foot. 

A viral TikTok trend called the “#barbiefootchallenge” has seen people trying to emulate the arch of a Barbie doll’s plastic feet by standing on their tiptoes. The collective number of views for the videos under the TikTok hashtag has, at press time, exceeded more than one million. 

Most of the videos are shot-for-shot reproductions of the opening scene in the movie’s trailer.


The scene features “Barbie” star Margot Robbie taking off her high heels while maintaining a perfectly arched foot like the doll. 

Doctors, however, are asking fans to rethink imitating Barbie’s walking style.

Sari Priesand, a podiatrist at the University of Michigan, said in a university publication that repeatedly mimicking Barbie’s arched foot could injure one’s ankles and feet. 

“I think it’s okay to try this trend once to see if you can achieve it. But if you’re repeatedly trying to do it or trying to walk in that way, it’s just not natural,” Priesand said. “Doing this for extended periods of time can be dangerous and cause injuries.”

“Leave the Barbie feet to the Barbies,” Priesand said.

This isn’t the first time a dangerous trend has gained traction on social media platforms like TikTok.

In 2021, doctors warned people not to engage in the “milk crate challenge” that went viral on Facebook and TikTok. The trend involved climbing on unsecured milk crates without falling.

And in July 2022, TikTok was hit with a wrongful-death lawsuit after two girls — Lalani Erika Walton, 8, and Arriani Jaileen Arroyo, 9 — died doing the “blackout challenge,” during which people choked themselves on camera until they passed out.

Representatives for TikTok and Priesand did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.

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