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: 3 Common Fatphobic Derailments

Recently there’s been an uptick in fatphobic derailments, and I thought it would be helpful to share them as well my responses to them.

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Why Is It So Hard To Imagine Our Lives After Dieting?

Dieting isn’t just a practice; it’s a way of life. What do we do when we don’t have any more calories to count and we have to deal with the wide-open space left in their wake?

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image credit 11 Honore

Take The Cake: My #FatAtFashionWeek Diary

When it comes to plus-size fashion, we’re all outsiders to this world — a world that makes amazing garments in our size and welcomes us with open arms full of bubbly water and tiny cakes.

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Unlike my childhood, near-daily exposure to fatphobia is not safely in my rearview mirror. That makes healing all the harder. Image: author.

Take The Cake: Fatphobia Gave Me PTSD

I think a lot of us are probably walking around with mild PTSD, anxiously calculating risk and making plans about what and who to avoid.... Even though I’m no longer technically walking the halls of junior high, I am living in a fitness-obsessed city that doesn’t feel as safe as it ought to considering almost everyone is over age 13.

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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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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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Don't ever underestimate the power of the good ol' fashioned vent sesh. (Image Credit: Instagram/Virgie Tovar)

Take The Cake: The Power Of Venting

I know that not everyone has the same appetite for The Vent, but when it comes to doing work around diet culture and fatphobia, venting is a powerful tool. For people who are in the process of healing from diet culture, we are often wading through an enormous ocean of misinformation, gas lighting and dirty ol’ lies. Without access to venting, our emotions and thoughts occur in sort of a vacuum where we can easily talk ourselves out of what may well be very astute analysis.

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You are the proverbial light. You are the world’s treasure.

Take The Cake: For The Queers Who Died Because The World Called Our Bodies Disposable

This is a love song for those who showed me there was a thing called freedom, and it wasn’t closed-legged, and it wasn’t passable, that it was expensive and gaudy, and I wanted it, and I didn’t want it.

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There's a difference between a person genuinely admiring your gifts, and a person who sees you as a way to feel superior.

Take The Cake: Don't Just Blindly Say 'You Inspire Me'

Two weeks ago, I was in West Lafayette, Indiana. I flew into Chicago at around midnight, and I was picked up by new friend and hostess, Mel.

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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 dry. There’s something about New Orleans, so hot and haunted, that pushes me into my body and the precious tenuousness of my humanity.

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