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

I saw myself and I knew there was nothing that fatphobia or my inner asshole could do to take away the beauty and the magic that was right before my eyes.

Take The Cake: How Being Photographed In My Underwear Changed The Way I Saw My Body

After years and years of fatphobia-induced body dysmorphia, it’s hard to actually just see my body with anything approaching objectivity. But when I finally looked at the photos of myself in my... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   06.22.17 12am   |   SHARE
There is room for all of us to have full humanity. We shouldn’t settle for less.

Take The Cake: F*ck Acceptance. Give Me Change

I don’t want to move the line of the socially acceptable body by 50 or 100 or 150 pounds. I want to get rid of the line altogether because the line hurts everyone — even the people who are seen as... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   06.15.17 12am   |   SHARE
Close quarters lead to (sometimes) unintended intimacy, and that’s a good thing as long as neither of you minds seeing the other’s butt.

Take The Cake: 2 Fat Babes, 1 Tiny Airstream Take A Road Trip

We wrote this article while driving from Yachats, Oregon to the northernmost tip of Oregon with a little Airstream named Bambi hitched to Jen’s car. We decided we wanted to share the three biggest... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   06.8.17 12am   |   SHARE
"It is not necessarily pleasant to be defensive, but that's okay with me. My defensiveness was a strategic decision, well-earned."

Take The Cake: I'm Not Ashamed Of Being Defensive

Truthfully, I really want to be able to walk into every new interaction with the hope — the expectation — that everyone knows how to treat everyone else with full humanity. But the culture’s gonna... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   06.1.17 12am   |   SHARE

Take The Cake: 35 Things I've Learned In 35 Years

One of my yearly rituals is making a list of things I’ve learned in the past year. So, I thought I would make public the list of things I’ve learned, and rather than just focus on one year, I thought... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   05.25.17 12am   |   SHARE
"All I want is a hamburger with pastrami on it and to write a story about dick." (Image Credit: Mighty Moose Art, @mightymooseart)

Take The Cake: Diary For May 10 - Pastrami, Dick, Feelings

The point is: no matter how wonderfully delicious a man (or anyone) is, once you’ve seen him sneeze, fall, eat peanut butter or chew loudly, if there’s nothing else (or mostly nothing else), then he... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   05.18.17 12am   |   SHARE
Confidence can be faked, but healing takes time, energy, and work. But it's worth it. (Image Credit: Instagram/virgietovar)

Take The Cake: The Confidence-Industrial Complex

Like many women and girls, I was taught that confidence is a commodity that we can use to attain romantic and sexual attention from men. We spend a lot of money and energy trying to capture that... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   05.11.17 12am   |   SHARE

Take The Cake: #NotYourLena OR How All Fat Women Are Not The Same Person

So, recently I started dipping my toe back into the poisonous dump site that is straight dating. Deep breath. The rumors are true:... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   05.4.17 12am   |   SHARE

Take The Cake: 'I Love Dick'

Last week I was sitting anywhere between nineteen and thirty-seven feet from Kevin Bacon. There was a special San Francisco Film Festival screening of the first two episodes of Amazon's new show... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   04.27.17 12am   |   SHARE
"Seeing big women portrayed as centerpieces in two different films in the same week was something I had never experienced."

Take The Cake: I Want To See Fat Women In Every Film

*Spoiler alert: some character-specific plot point reveals for the films... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   04.20.17 12am   |   SHARE