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's Articles

The 3 Levels of Fatphobia are intrapersonal, interpersonal, and institutional.

Take The Cake: The 3 Levels Of Fatphobia

The 3 Levels of Fatphobia are intrapersonal, interpersonal, and institutional. Yes, everyone is affected by fatphobia. But the follow-up question is: How?
Virgie Tovar    |   10.19.17 12am   |   SHARE

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.
Virgie Tovar    |   10.12.17 12am   |   SHARE
Fatness, femininity and hair! Photo credit: @virgietovar on Instagram

Take The Cake: Fatness, Femininity, And My Pink Bangs

One of the things I have done for myself in adulthood as part of my healing process is make a strong claim to fatness femininity.
Virgie Tovar    |   10.5.17 12am   |   SHARE
Virgie Tovar

Take The Cake: Meet Chile’s Fat Mafia  

I arrive at the airport and I see the chubby, bespectacled face of my friend, Andrea. This was the beginning of my adventure with Chile's fat mafia!
Virgie Tovar    |   09.28.17 12am   |   SHARE
Join me and free your arm fat!

Take The Cake: 4 Reasons To Free Your Arm Fat

This year has been a real paradigm shift year for my arm fat, and I’d like to offer you 4 reasons to join me in public wobbly ecstasy: free your arm fat!
Virgie Tovar    |   09.20.17 11pm   |   SHARE

Take The Cake: The It Remake Got Everything Right Except Its Treatment Of Fat Characters

I have seen the same tropes of fat people for the entirety of my life. Personally, I am so ready for a remake on what fat people are capable of doing and being.
Virgie Tovar    |   09.14.17 12am   |   SHARE
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... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   09.7.17 12am   |   SHARE
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... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   08.31.17 12am   |   SHARE
I thought we both knew he was our enemy, but in reality you both were mine.

Take The Cake: An Open Letter To The Woman Who Betrayed Me

I told you I never wanted to speak to him again. I offered that we work together to rid him from our lives. I thought we had both made the realization that he was garbage, but in reality, only I had.
Virgie Tovar    |   08.24.17 12am   |   SHARE
It’s important to remember that butter is, after all, just another food that we infuse with moral meaning. And the same is true of people’s bodies.

Take The Cake: Fatness & Food Politics, Part 2

The politics of food are the politics of class, and the subtlety of those politics creates a kind of deniability that makes it hard to discern the rules of engagement. One’s success in ascending the... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   08.17.17 12am   |   SHARE