BIO

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 www.virgietovar.com. And on instagram

Virgie Tovar's Articles

It’s important to remember that butter is, after all, just another food that we infuse with moral meaning. And the same is true of people’s bodies.

Take The Cake: Fatness & Food Politics, Part 2

The politics of food are the politics of class, and the subtlety of those politics creates a kind of deniability that makes it hard to discern the rules of engagement. One’s success in ascending the... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   08.17.17 12am   |   SHARE
 I became aware that my body creates static in establishments dedicated to amazing food. As a fat person, I’m not supposed to be there.

Take The Cake: Fatness & Food Politics

I became aware that my body creates static in establishments dedicated to amazing food. As a fat person, I’m not supposed to be there. The fat body is the body of the undeserving poor, an... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   08.10.17 12am   |   SHARE
In my limited experience, I have always felt that BBW events were spaces designed by fat women for men — frequently thin ones.

Take The Cake: My First BBW Bash

My jaw clenches in judgmental discomfort whenever I think of any event with "BBW" in the title. To me, the term "BBW" is coded. When I hear that word, my eyes begin a preemptive roll as the keywords... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   08.3.17 12am   |   SHARE
The small tearing and wearing down of the red skin between my thighs reminds me of something I crave. Something that temperate weather and pristine places just don’t give a body.

Take The Cake: That Louisiana Chub Rub

Leaving Louisiana means going back to a place that’s colder — climactically and culturally. My chub rub will appreciate the cool down, but I am not looking forward to returning to a place that’s so... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   07.27.17 12am   |   SHARE
"After trying to avoid completely ceasing communication with both my mother and grandmother, I realized I had come to the end of another road."

Take The Cake: Breaking Up With My Family, Part 2

There had only been room for a persona - a sunshiney child-parent. My mother and grandmother had always fixated on my childhood. It finally made sense how the happiest time of their lives could be my... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   07.20.17 12am   |   SHARE
My parents wanted our family to be in high-threat mode because it kept us closer.

Take The Cake: Breaking Up With My Family, Part 1

More than lip service to an unlikely situation, I needed accountability from my family. Small things that required less bravado, but more work. Just before Christmas, I experienced the moment that... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   07.13.17 12am   |   SHARE
As someone who is very dedicated to healing and emotional growth, I actually can’t afford to waste emotional energy on people and pursuits that deplete me.

Take The Cake: Stop Doing Sh*t You Hate

I have come to learn that most of the things I hate are things I can manage (if not eradicate) with boundaries, introspection, a sense of my needs as valuable, and the language to articulate what is... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   07.6.17 12am   |   SHARE
Share your weight and your feelings. Demand desserts. And live your best (sex) life. (Image Credit: Instagram/Virgietovar)

Take The Cake: I Shared My Weight In A Personal Ad & Here's What Happened

I find that clarity is the key to getting the exact heterosexual intercourse you want. Part of this involves taking the gloves off around discussions of my body. So, I said it in the ad: “I weigh 250... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   06.29.17 12am   |   SHARE
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