A few years ago, everyone was talking about Cinderella feet. In case you need a reminder, that trend was surgical. Women were asking podiatrists to operate on their toes and feet so they could fit into the modern version of a 'glass slipper': designer stilettos. As you might imagine, our Houston podiatrist was not onboard. Undergo a serious medical procedure just to fit into your Manolos? Not on our watch!

Then, a few years after that, another foot trend took the world by storm: the #BarbieFeet hashtag on Instagram. And, while the name was less than ideal, and has since morphed into something dangerous, we were actually ok with that trend. But, before you start freaking out, let us explain exactly why that was the case then, but not now that the Barbie Foot Challenge has taken TikTok by storm.  

What's the Barbie Feet Trend All About?  #BarbieFeet on Instagram is a great compromise for women who want the look of high heels without the problems

Anyone who knows Barbie knows that her feet are disproportionately tiny. And permanently stuck in the high heel position. Thankfully, neither of those factors are involved in the latest hashtag trend. 

Instead, women are temporarily copying the pose of Barbie's feet. For the sake of a selfie, these ladies will go up on their tip toes (like Barbie), snap a pic and then sink down to safety. The idea is to capture all the bonuses of wearing high heels (added height, longer looking legs, the toned appearance of flexed muscles) without actually putting on stilettos. 

And therein, ladies and gentlemen, lies the reason that we like this trend. We truly understand why women love high heels. Heck, we know lots of very smart women with closets full of them. And yes, we even agree, many women look phenomenal in them. But if woman wear them for too long or too often, problems will start cropping up. 

It may start with aching feet. Later, it could progress to back and knee pain. Bunions may start to form The Achilles tendon could shorten up and cause heel pain. The toes could twist into shapes not intended by nature. Basically, so many unpretty things could happen. 

If, however, you stick to temporary Barbie Feet poses, you'll capture the look you love without any of the lasting, unpleasant side effects. So go ahead, ladies (and gents): snap those #BarbieFeet instas. But steer clear of that Barbie Foot Challenge on TikTok. Because, as it turns out, that little trend is very problematic. 

Barbie Foot Challenge: Why it's Murder on Your Feet

Now that the Barbie movie is part of our universe, and people across the world are going gaga for all things pink, there's a new Barbie trend in town. And, unfortunately, it's far less innocuous than the #BarbieFeet trend we just signed off on. 

You see, early in the film, Margot Robbie's Barbie slips off her shoes to get in the shower. And, when she takes off her gorgeous high heels, her feet stay in that perfectly  arched position. Of course, this scene is a podiatrist's nightmare. But the TikTok world thinks it's awesome, and has turned this unnatural anatomy into a viral challenge.

How does the challenge work? It basically encourages followers to channel their inner Barbie by standing on tip toes and trying to walk. So far, the trend is catching on quickly. Even starts like Chrissy Teigen are trying it out. But that's a bad idea. And here's why. 

You see, earlier #barbiefeet challenges had people standing still, even if they were on tip toes for a picture. But now that video is part of the equation, the Barbie Foot challenges involves movement. Or, more specifically, it involves walking on your tip toes. Without even the benefit of a stiletto to absorb some of the shock to the balls of your feet, or to your metatarsal bones. And so, if you take the challenge, you could be in for a world of hurt. 

Going Barefoot on Tip Toe: The Trouble with the Barbie Foot Challenge

The latest incarnation of the Barbie Foot Challenge poses a serious risk of immediate injury. After all, when you walk on tip toe, without support, you're more likely to trip and fall. And that could lead to sprains or even fractures. 

Want to know what's even worse than the immediate risk of injury? Walking with Barbie feet poses long term health risks. (Just like walking in high heels does, over time.) You see, walking in stiletto position destabilizes your ankles, and that takes a toll on your ligaments. Plus, putting all that pressure on the balls of your feet can leave you with painful conditions like metatarsalgia or Morton's neuroma. And either of those conditions can make walking in any shoes, let alone high heels, feel like torture. 

On their own, these risks are pretty serious. And they should convince you NOT to take the Barbie Foot Challenge. But if you're not yet convinced to steer clear of this trend, consider this. Barbie herself didn't actually keep her feet in that position. In fact, she admitted to Australian TV that, off-camera, “I kind of held onto a bar so I was steady. We just put double-sided tape on the floor so my shoes would stay still.” In other words, even Barbie can't pull off the Barbie Foot Challenge without assistance. So we certainly don't think you should try to out-Barbie the master. Especially since doing so could leave you with nothing but trouble. 

Whar's a better way to show off the beauty of your feet? Try pampering them the right way, with the help of our guide to safe, at-home pedicures. Then, show off your pretty summer toes on Instagram, Tik Tok, or wherever the mood strikes you. Got foot pain or discomfort when you wear your shoes or high heels? Come into the office at the first sign of a problem. That way, we can keep small problems from becoming big ones. So you can keep on showing off your feet on your favorite social platforms. And, while you're at it, go ahead and give our Tanglewood Foot Specialists account a follow. We promise lots of #footspiration and plenty of safe, happy fun! 


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