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

Photo Credit: STXfilms I Feel Pretty

Take The Cake: A Fat Feminist Watches 'I Feel Pretty'

That’s the thing about I Feel Pretty, the narrative only makes sense when you consider how limited the onscreen life of everyone but white dudes gets to be.

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 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 aggressively unwelcome reminder of the world just outside the gorgeously appointed, impeccably designed restaurant.

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I say — fuck the high road. Image: Virgie Tovar.

Take The Cake: An Open Letter To The Woman Who Gave Me Stink Eye For My VBO

If you asked me to guess what was going through her head, I would say she was in shock that a fat lady would wear a tight skirt, belly in full sight. This feminist act of taking up space, tacitly but clearly making room for myself in a fatphobic culture, is a bold-but-crucial move if you’re my brand of fat babe.

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"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 darkest.

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image credit: Virgie Tovar via Instagram

Take The Cake: The Perks Of Being A Spinster

To me, being a spinster is a lot about prioritizing myself, my needs and my desires over the culture’s needs and desires for my life.

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"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 will ultimately make your skin crawl. So, there’s no point after all, right? In doing things the way we know how to do them?

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image credit: Virgie Tovar via Instagram

Take The Cake: Dieting Used To Be Gender-Affirming For Me

I can say that dieting symbolized a lot of things for me. I work to claim a uniquely fat femininity that thrives when my belly is full.

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image credit: Virgie Tovar via Instagram

Take The Cake: Love Letter To The Fat Babe At The Club

I hadn't been to a club like this one — the kind full of straight men who are probably homophobic and at least a little coercive, who smell like Old Spice deodorant and have enough disposable income to keep an open tab (the kind of men I'd been taught were "a catch") — for a very, very long time. I tried to remember exactly how long. A decade? More?

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Take The Cake: Nancy’s Thin Privilege Got Barb Killed. THANKS, NANCY.

It was Nancy's thin privilege that obscured her ability to see what Barb saw in the Popular Kids, to make the social leap that Barb couldn't, and that led her to ultimately symbolically (and actually) leave behind their friendship when a more normative offer presented itself.

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Take The Cake: That Time I Went To Adult Fat Camp

I just spent the weekend at adult fat camp — admittedly, a very different kind of fat camp than I used to dream about all those years ago.

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