The pear shape is sad in its own skin. It has mottled pieces. It’s freckled. In Sleepless in Seattle, I watched a woman peel an apple in one sliver as ‘moonlight’ cast across her face. An underpaid teenager held the moon in a steady arm and turned it off between takes. I remember thinking this was how you made someone fall for you - by removing skin effortlessly in one piece, with a sharp knife over a sink. Carve the peel and reveal flesh - bare, sweet and juice filled.
Before I had touched the skin of any other person, I would stay up in my bedroom and try on bras handed down from cousins and pray to my ceiling for a body I could peel from other bodies. I would practice clasping these wire cages around my ribs, in the dark, in the bed, in the mirror. One handed. I would read about the body shape I was to grow and harvest it into trousers each morning - learn that I was pear-shaped. In too-tight trousers and too-tight tapered skirts and too-tight skin, I would stand at the sink and begin peeling potatoes in one thin strip. I was sleepless, thinking about peeling skin.