Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar

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 Articles

image credit Virgie Tovar via Instagram

Take The Cake: Is ‘Dieting’ Really Disordered Eating?

It’s taken me a long time to write about this topic because I’m not an eating disorder specialist or clinician.

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"I’ve learned how to give myself just a little tiny bit more space. I’m not living in a minute-to-minute, food-inspired soap opera in my own head, and each step away from that has given me just enough perspective to start to heal."

I Wasn't Addicted To Food. I Was Addicted to Dieting.

I don’t drink much, and embarrassingly I don’t even know how to smoke, but I do have a tendency to use experiences the way addicts use substances, because I learned addictive behavioral frameworks growing up.

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image credit: Virgie Tovar via Instagram

Take The Cake: These 8 Photos Of My Double Chin Helped Me Dump High-Angle Photos Forever

I wanted the photos to record exactly how I looked and felt in those moments – double chin and all. I’d like to encourage you to take the leap!

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Vulnerability should be something we thoughtfully protect with boundaries. But never allowing anyone in harms our precious sense of humanity and our right to love.

Take The Cake: Vulnerability Is Haaaaaard

My sad little girl brain remembers exactly what it feels like to risk everything and get rejected. It happened so many times for me during childhood and then later in my early dating years. I’ve created elaborate systems of avoidance, emotional self-control and pre-emptive rejection. And frankly, girl, I’m tired of it. It’s a lot of goddamn work.

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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 pounds.”

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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 happening.

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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 made our breakup crystallize.

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image credit: Virgie Tovar

Take The Cake: A Fat Babe Donated Her Wardrobe to Goodwill & This Happened

I finally left Goodwill with about 15 pieces and the sense that I had a new friend who donated her wardrobe. Fat intimacy and solidarity!

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“Therapy for how we live today,” said someone with the voice equivalent of the color “light blue.” Image: Talkspace.

Take The Cake: I Signed Up For An Internet Therapist (And I Love Her)

Whenever [my last therapist and I] got to talking about the ways that being fat had shaped my romantic experiences, or the ways that racism or xenophobia had shaped my family’s life, she would get this far-off look. Like, she wanted to believe me, but that she was grappling with this belief that I was choosing to see life this way.

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