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

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.
Virgie Tovar    |   02.14.19 12am   |   SHARE
Photo credit: Marcela Pardo

Take The Cake: Fat People Deal With Fat Oppression In Different Ways

2. Fat People Are In Survival Mode. I then moved onto a very basic reality: fatphobia is unjust, fat people are oppressed, fat people are being forced every, single day to navigate fatphobia while... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   02.7.19 11am   |   SHARE
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Take The Cake: Reframing Jealousy

Jealousy is such an interesting thing to me. As immediate and intense as it feels when it hits, it has always struck me as a secondary — a smokescreen for something else.
Virgie Tovar    |   01.31.19 9am   |   SHARE
image credit Virgie Tovar

Take The Cake: Revisiting the Fat Liberation Manifesto 46 Years Later

A lot of people don’t know this, but fat activism has been around in the United States since the 1960s. Yes, it’s true! The ideas of “fat pride” and “fat acceptance” were promoted by NAAFA (... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   01.24.19 12am   |   SHARE

Take The Cake: Is Dumplin’ About Self-Acceptance Or Assimilation?

The reviews for the new Netflix movie Dumplin’ are alight with the phrase “self-acceptance,” but I had... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   01.15.19 2pm   |   SHARE
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Take The Cake: The BoPo-Washing Of Weight Watchers (& The Weight Loss Industry)

How does a weight loss company sell weight loss products to people who don’t want to be fat but also don’t want to say they don’t want to be fat or identify as being on a diet? This question lives at... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   01.10.19 9am   |   SHARE
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Take The Cake: Who Is LuLu Roman?

It’s hard to be fat in this culture (period), but it feels alchemical to me to watch these stars rise to the top — highly visible, on screens all over the world, navigating the entertainment industry... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   01.3.19 11am   |   SHARE
image credit Virgie Tovar

TakeThe Cake: 9 Body Positive Resolutions For 2019 

Resolution season is rough for many of us. Most goal-setting relies upon self-defeating and depleting aspirations, like assimilation into problematic cultural ideals (like thinness). In short, most... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   12.27.18 10am   |   SHARE
image credit Virgie Tovar via Instagram

Take The Cake: Is ‘Dieting’ Really Disordered Eating?

It’s taken me a long time to write about this topic because I’m not an eating disorder specialist or clinician. Beside that, I have long considered “dieting” and “disordered eating” to exist as... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   12.20.18 7am   |   SHARE
image credit: Virgie Tovar via @curvystreets

Take The Cake: My Body Did This Magical Thing & It Blew My Mind

This was the first time in my adult life when I had become really crystal clear on what I wanted and needed from others. I have been so used to letting others lead the exchange, unsure how to... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   12.13.18 12am   |   SHARE