About the Author:
Tony winner Daisy Eagan first made a splash on Broadway as Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden. At age 11, she took home a 1991 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress, making her the youngest female winner of the coveted award. Eagan went on to appear on Broadway in Les Misérables and James Joyce’s The Dead, and now she’s dishing about relationships and fashion off-Broadway in Love, Loss and What I Wore. Eagan will hit the road with the first national tour of Love, Loss starting January 3. Below, the actress sheds some light on her own fashion choices, her love for ‘90s music, and the reason she’ll be the coolest grandma in New York City.
If Adidas ever stops making their shell-toe sneakers, I'll be in big trouble. I've been wearing them since high school. I'll wear them till I die. I'll be a little old lady wearing black shell-toe Adidas. I'll be hobbled and crippled, but by God, I'll be the coolest little old lady ever. Just don't tell my podiatrist. About a year ago, I went to him complaining of pain in both my big toes.
"How often do you wear these?" he asked, literally folding my sneaker in half like a ballet slipper.
"Not anymore, you don't."
I'm supposed to wear a sneaker with solid ankle support. One that won’t bend in half like a piece of taffy. I have freakishly flexible ankles and flat feet. Wearing my Adidas is just as good as going barefoot. But the thing is, I have huge feet. I'm 5'1'' and I wear a 7 1/2 shoe. So, the more stuff there is to my shoe, the more gargantuan my feet look.
Growing up in New York City, I rode the subway and went to school with Puerto Rican girls with cute, little feet. They wore whatever sneaker they wanted and their feet always looked tiny and good. I was so jealous. When I first learned about foot-binding I didn't get why people were so opposed to it. You mean my parents could have stunted my foot growth and I could have tiny, dainty feet?? They'd be all deformed? Who cares! I could finally wear the same sneakers as Marisol and Vanessa!
Most people I know do not wear the same style shoe they were wearing 15 years ago (Except my dad. He also wears Adidas. Countries, white with green stripes. And yes, I am slowly becoming my father, but that's a whole different story). But the truth is, most of my style (if you can call it that) hasn't changed since high school. I think this may have something to do with the fact that I keep forgetting I'm not 16 anymore. I recently found myself chatting with a young woman about music. We had similar taste. "We should totally go to some concerts together!" I squealed.
She looked at me funny and then I remembered that she was literally 17 years younger than me. Later, I imagine, she told her friends, "Some creepy old lady with big feet said she wanted to hang out with me." And then they all laugh, high five each other and chug their Zimas.
I have a pair of pants I bought in the boys section of Old Navy when I was 16. They're low-wasted and baggy. While the prominent style in the mid-‘90s was hideous high-waisted pants, some designers, bless them, were doing the low-waisted baggy thing and to this day, it's the style I prefer. I have a rather large caboose for my size (you know what they say. Big feet, big... butt?) and the high-waisted pant ends up making my butt look about four feet long. The low-waisted, baggy pant, on the other hand, suggests the shapeliness of my back side, without making me feel like I have a neon sign on my back saying, "Look at my ass!!" Only recently have my Old Navy pants become too small. I'll fit into them again. Mark my words.
I am also stuck in the mid-'90s musically. When my local rock radio station does their "rock of '90s" specials, I am tempted to cancel all my plans, put on a flannel shirt and brood in front of my radio all weekend.
It's strange that I'm stuck in the mid-'90s. I was miserable in the mid-'90s. I was an angry, depressed teenager with no friends. Maybe that's why I relate so well to the angst rock of that era. Me and Kurt Cobain, man. No one understood our pain.
Now that I think about it, maybe I'm trying to live out that fantasy of going back to your teen years with all the knowledge you have now. Maybe I still wear my Adidas in the hope that someone will mistake me for my 16-year-old self and tease me, and I'll finally be able to rise above it; not let it affect me; hold my head high and walk away. Or, even better, I’ll be able to respond with something so soul crushing, it scars them for life. Maybe I still wear them in an attempt to rewrite my adolescence. Maybe I'm afraid of getting old.
But honestly, I think it's just because they make my feet look cute. They may ruin my feet forever, but good God, when I am a little old lady, hobbling down the street, people will say, "Look at that awesome old lady in her shell toe Adidas!" And I'll pause the Beastie Boys on my iPod (version 7652.4) and say, "You know it."