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

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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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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"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: Virgie Tovar

Take The Cake: How Patriarchy Is A LOT Like Chuck E. Cheese

One of my favorite ways to help people conceptualize patriarchy is by asking them to imagine a Chuck E. Cheese.

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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 "heteronormativity," "hookup," "gendered labor," "mansplaining," and "ugh" scroll past the neon pink kiosk in my brain.

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Image from the author's Instagram (@virgietovar)

Take The Cake: Thin People Aren't "Naturally" Superior To Fat People

Fat people, we do not have to acquiesce to our culture's normalization of hierarchy. We do not have to turn the other cheek. Joy does not come at the expense of your dignity, of your humanity.

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Fighting for fat rights isn’t just about fighting for access to clothing or the demand to be seen as beautiful. Image: Virgie Tovar.

Take The Cake: Medical Fatphobia Almost Killed My Friend

We forego doctor visits because we know with near-total certitude that we are going to be told to lose weight. That we don’t need care — we just need to “cut back.”

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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.

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Take The Cake: #NotYourLena OR How All Fat Women Are Not The Same Person

So, recently I started dipping my toe back into the poisonous dump site that is straight dating. Deep breath.

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Take The Cake: Fat Girl In Jamaica

Every inch of skin that can experience a breeze is urgently needed in Jamaica. This makes choosing the tank top and short shorts so much easier. It takes the thinking out of wearing very little clothes for me, and being scantily clad is still an exercise in vulnerability.

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