Virgie Tovar, MA is an author, activist and one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, November 2012) and the mind behind #LoseHateNotWeight.

She holds a Master's degree in Human Sexuality with a focus on the intersections of body size, race and gender. After teaching "Female Sexuality" at the University of California at Berkeley, where she completed a Bachelor's degree in Political Science in 2005, she went onto host "The Virgie Show" (CBS Radio) in San Francisco. She is certified as a sex educator and was voted Best Sex Writer by the Bay Area Guardian in 2008 for her first book.

Virgie has been featured by the New York Times, MTV, Al Jazeera, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Huffington Post, Bust Magazine, Jezebel, 7x7 Magazine, XOJane, and SF Weekly as well as on Women’s Entertainment Television and The Ricki Lake Show. Her most recent speaking engagements have included University of Washington, Earlham College, Hollins University, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Davis, California College of the Arts, Sonoma State University, and Humboldt State University. She lives in San Francisco and offers workshops and lectures nationwide. Find her online at And on instagram

Virgie Tovar's Articles

Rock those short-shorts, no matter your size.

Take The Cake: Short Shorts + Jiggly Thighs Forever

I spent most of last week in a southern California heat wave. You know when it’s so hot you start to feel the skin on your face become tighter and tighter because it’s actually kind of getting cooked... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   03.23.17 12am   |   SHARE
There's a difference between a person genuinely admiring your gifts, and a person who sees you as a way to feel superior.

Take The Cake: Don't Just Blindly Say 'You Inspire Me'

Two weeks ago, I was in West Lafayette, Indiana. I flew into Chicago at around midnight, and I was picked up by new friend and hostess, Mel. Even though we had never, ever met IRL (she invited me to... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   03.16.17 12am   |   SHARE
On being hyper-aware of one's space, vs. zero awareness of one's space. (Image Credit: Instagram/virgietovar)

'Thinspreading:' Do Thin People Take Up More Space Than Fat People?

I’d like to enter the term “thinspreading” into the running for 2017's new word of the year. I was recently at a party in San Francisco. I invited one of my fav fat babes to come with me, and we got... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   03.9.17 12am   |   SHARE

Take The Cake: Secret Relationships With Fat Women

When we both moved to San Francisco in our 20s, she moved to a wealthy neighborhood and I moved into a neighborhood where old men had phone sex on the pay phone at the laundromat. Our friendship... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   03.2.17 12am   |   SHARE
"I had to reckon with the fact that people do this to other people, that men do this to women, that my body had been coopted and turned into a repository for someone else’s shame."

Take The Cake: Is Fatness A Superpower?

This week in Babecamp we were talking about Sarai Walker’s novel Dietland. The main character, who is a fat woman, muses that perhaps her fatness is a... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   02.23.17 12am   |   SHARE
Don't ever underestimate the power of the good ol' fashioned vent sesh. (Image Credit: Instagram/Virgie Tovar)

Take The Cake: The Power Of Venting

I know that not everyone has the same appetite for The Vent, but when it comes to doing work around diet culture and fatphobia, venting is a powerful tool. For people who are in the process of... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   02.16.17 12am   |   SHARE
"Why was it so hard for me to see my own desire?"

Take The Cake: I Like Being An Unwed Mother Of Zero Children

As much as I love the idea of family, I actually like not being married, and I actually like not being a mother right now.
Virgie Tovar    |   02.9.17 12am   |   SHARE

Take The Cake: Ode To Oaxacan Cheese, Acupuncture, & Fat Friends

For the past two weeks, I’ve met up with my friend Caya in the Mission for acupuncture and pupusas/pizza/both. #HighlyRecommend  Acupuncture can be hard for people who are overly analytical (me), at... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   02.2.17 12am   |   SHARE
image credit: Virgie Tovar

Take The Cake: Why Is Rejection Scarier When You're A Fat Girl?

I want to tell you something about me: I’m an obsessive person. Like I will over-think things, spend a disproportionate amount of time imagining all possible outcomes of a situation, and create... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   01.26.17 12am   |   SHARE
"When I think of the ways that fat people are treated as a group, I don’t know how the descriptors “hatred” and “intolerance” cannot be used to describe the behaviors that fat people deal with on a daily basis."

Take The Cake: Don't Let Anyone Make You Feel Ashamed Of Your Body

One of the things that has become exceedingly obvious to me is how our current cultural attitudes toward fat people are steeped in bigotry. Yes, fat-negative attitudes are at their core about bigotry... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   01.19.17 12am   |   SHARE