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

My parents wanted our family to be in high-threat mode because it kept us closer.

Take The Cake: Breaking Up With My Family, Part 1

More than lip service to an unlikely situation, I needed accountability from my family. Small things that required less bravado, but more work. Just before Christmas, I experienced the moment that made our breakup crystallize.

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image credit Virgie Tovar

TakeThe Cake: 9 Body Positive Resolutions For 2019 

Resolution season is rough for many of us.

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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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image credit: Virgie Tovar via Instagram

Take The Cake: 3 New Rules For Re-defining Success Without Weight-Loss

I was taught that weight loss was self-care, but then I did a bunch of research and realized dieting is actually the patriarchal destruction of my body.

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image credit Virgie Tovar

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 the heart of what I’m going to call “BoPo-washing.” BoPo-washing is the new paradigm of companies using weight-neutral or body positive language in order to peddle products.

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@virgietovar on Instagram

Take The Cake: Body Hating Mornings? Add This One Thing To Your Bedroom

I got tired of waking up and being terrified for my health and so I decided to do what I’d been taught to do in moments of distress: craft.

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I say — fuck the high road. Image: Virgie Tovar.

Take The Cake: An Open Letter To The Woman Who Gave Me Stink Eye For My VBO

If you asked me to guess what was going through her head, I would say she was in shock that a fat lady would wear a tight skirt, belly in full sight. This feminist act of taking up space, tacitly but clearly making room for myself in a fatphobic culture, is a bold-but-crucial move if you’re my brand of fat babe.

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image credit: Virgie Tovar via Instagram

Take The Cake: The Perks Of Being A Spinster

To me, being a spinster is a lot about prioritizing myself, my needs and my desires over the culture’s needs and desires for my life.

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I Asked 60 Kinesiology Students To Define Health. Here's What Happened.

Health is the banner we have raised in defense of weight loss surgery, The Biggest Loser, putting children on diets, shaming our friends and family members, fat jokes, weight-based workplace discrimination, and heavily processed low-calorie meals with no nutritional value.

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Take The Cake: Secret Relationships With Fat Women

When we both moved to San Francisco in our 20s, she moved to a wealthy neighborhood and I moved into a neighborhood where old men had phone sex on the pay phone at the laundromat. Our friendship threatened her world in a way that it didn’t mine. The people I knew had neither wealth to protect nor any desire to play at that game, and so their lives were inspired by a freedom I adored. The kind of freedom that allows you to talk about shitting and fucking over dinner.

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