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 Virgie Tovar

Why Is It So Hard For A Fat Person To Find A Comfortable Place To Sit In San Francisco?

It’s important to recognize that tiny or unsupportive seats (no matter how beautiful) send a silent but powerful message about who has the right to sit down. This message has strong ripple effects... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   03.21.19 7am   |   SHARE
image credit Virgie Tovar

Take The Cake: Why It’s Important to Preach To The Choir

It takes a lot of ongoing effort, labor, and love to fight for justice and to question the culture. People in the “choir” opt out of fitting in or playing nice. We dedicate a lot of time to being... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   03.15.19 9pm   |   SHARE
image credit Virgie Tovar

Take The Cake: On International Women’s Day I Celebrate The 31% Stock Plummet of WW

I can think of few things more worthy of celebrating on International Women’s Day than the slow and very public decline of a company that has capitalized on fatphobia, women’s insecurity and body... Read...
Virgie Tovar    |   03.7.19 8pm   |   SHARE
image credit Virgie Tovar

Take The Cake: Diets Don't Work (But They Do Give People These 4 Things)

Dieting is a socially sanctioned method of mentally high-tailing out of whatever is going on and keeping you entirely in your head, laser-focused on your next bite, your scale, your plate.
Virgie Tovar    |   02.28.19 11am   |   SHARE
image credit Virgie Tovar

Take The Cake: 20 Ways To Be Fat Positive (No Matter What Size You Are)

Fat positivity creates room for fat people to be seen with full humanity — not as failed thin people, but as complete and precious.
Virgie Tovar    |   02.21.19 12am   |   SHARE
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
image credit Virgie Tovar

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