Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar


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 Articles

Trump supporters who are body positive? Seriously?

Take The Cake: Are Fat Positive Trump Supporters, Like, A Real Thing?

I am currently in Los Angeles trying to forget that the election happened.


Take The Cake: Virgie's Guide To A Power-Babe Thanksgiving

Like, "Yum, there is a table full of delicious food" but also, "Ugh, am I gonna hate myself after I eat this?"

Femininity as we know it is about smallness — metaphorical and actual. Fat women defy the core tenet of femininity, which is: be small. It doesn’t matter if we “chose” this power or not.

Take The Cake: Dear Fat Girl, Do You Know How Powerful You Are?

My unique capacity to see the vile underbelly of “normal” life made me an important witness to the reality of cultural failure. My inability to pass as a “regular lady” had helped build a road out of the stifling reality that so many of us face — that women’s lives are mapped out of for them before they even embark on their life journey.

Something like 80 percent of men expect their partner to be thin; tell me that isn’t an “excessive and irrational commitment.”

Take The Cake: Thin Fetishism Is More Common Than Fat Fetishism

The other night, I was eating capellini with asparagus and shrimp with a new friend/Babecamp Jamaica alum.

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.

Image Credit: Virgie Tovar (Instagram: @virgietovar)

Take The Cake: How Did Body Positive Dieting Become A Thing? 

A couple of weeks ago I got an email that contained a question I never thought I’d be asked.

@virgietovar on Instagram

Take The Cake: Do Fat People Face Too Much Pressure to Be Happy?​

I think there’s a special kind of burden placed on stigmatized people to pretend that everything is A-Okay. Would I be smiling if I was oppressed? Heck no.


Take The Cake: Loving My Extended Adolescence (Or Something)

In the wake of America's "crisis of adulthood" and in the middle of a city known for Peter Pan Syndrome, I find myself feeling that I too have gotten an extension on my adolescence. It has become a time for me to heal, center myself in a way I never could in childhood, and figure out what I want for my life.

image credit: Virgie Tovar via Instagram

Take The Cake: 3 Powerful Romantic Solidarity Strategies Between Thin & Fat Women

Solidarity strategies are possible. They happen all the time — though often less frequently in the realm of romance, unfortunately.