Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar


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 Articles

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!

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 the stifling reality that so many of us face — that women’s lives are mapped out of for them before they even embark on their life journey.

 I became aware that my body creates static in establishments dedicated to amazing food. As a fat person, I’m not supposed to be there.

Take The Cake: Fatness & Food Politics

I became aware that my body creates static in establishments dedicated to amazing food. As a fat person, I’m not supposed to be there. The fat body is the body of the undeserving poor, an aggressively unwelcome reminder of the world just outside the gorgeously appointed, impeccably designed restaurant.

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 navigate, unable to access my own needs.

Photo by roya ann miller on Unsplash

Take The Cake: Do We Support Thin Feminists More Than Fat Feminists?

What I’ve noticed, as a fat feminist, is that self-identifying as a feminist or an activist bears a different social cost depending on your body size.


Take The Cake: 'I Love Dick'

Last week I was sitting anywhere between nineteen and thirty-seven feet from Kevin Bacon.

image credit: Virgie Tovar via Instagram

Take The Cake: I Fight For This Fat Brown Feminine Body

What does it mean to want this body? What does it mean to fight for this brown, fat feminine body? In this culture, it means revolution.

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.

"When I think of the ways that fat people are treated as a group, I don’t know how the descriptors “hatred” and “intolerance” cannot be used to describe the behaviors that fat people deal with on a daily basis."

Take The Cake: Don't Let Anyone Make You Feel Ashamed Of Your Body

One of the things that has become exceedingly obvious to me is how our current cultural attitudes toward fat people are steeped in bigotry.

Why does self-love feel harder than dieting? Let's talk about it!

Take The Cake: Why Does Self-Love Feel Harder Than Dieting?

There is not a single path to self-love, and so you must become an engineer of that process. We have to feel lots of uncomfortable things.