Brad the Baby Jesus Butt Plug will make his fated return to the stage tonight. Also as fate would have: Brad has a new baby brother! Yes, the universe has gifted me not one but TWO baby jesus butt plugs. That's right. I have two baby jesus butt plugs, neither of which I have actually paid for but which have come into my possession through the sheer will for blasphemous sexual paraphernalia. My most recent butt plug came to me, in fact, from the previous Godless Perverts Story Hour. And it all comes full circle, friends! I will be performing alongside 8 other pervs reading a brand new piece at this evening's GPSH at the Center for Sex & Culture in San Francisco. Doors at 7. Sliding scale $10-$20. Come and be touched by the perv light and my cleavage.
It's kinda every ambitious UC Berkeley alum's fantasy to be in the Daily Californian. Meg Elison of the Daily Cal came to Halmoni last Friday night - wearing an amazing red dress with matching killer red lipstick - to ask questions about fat fashion, sip on sangria and pontificate with us on the politics of clothing. Read her piece, "UC Berkeley Alumna Encourages Fierce Fat Fashion," here.
p.s. Go Bears!
AHDM4U is the hot new brain baby borne of two of SF's sexiest (and sweeeetest!) illuminati, Caitlin Donohue and Kelly Lovemonster. They asked me to come into this month's edition, All of the Ladies, to talk about plus size fashion and thrifting advice. The piece is called "Shopping with Writer & Soon To Be Fashion Icon Virgie Tovar." Oooh! Watch the video below and then click here for the Do's & Don'ts.
#fatshion #plussizefashion #virgietovar #hotandheavy #fiercefatfemme
Being Pedro'd has been a longtime ambition of mine, friend!
Pedro Fins, an Australia-based fictional character or something (but I secretly am pretty sure he's a kiwi and you know about my love of kiwis and Aotearoa, my 3rd home, ghurl!), animates social media updates and tonight he animated mine!
My Facebook post - "I need more me time than I had originally thought" - was inspired by my increasing commitment to self-care and the realization that as much as I luuuurve a completely filled social calendar with multiple friend dates, zoo visits, beach blanket selfies sessions, and romps with cute boys stacked right atop the other (titter) I actually need down time just for me to recoup, recenter, and remind myself that whatever is happening it's just the hypochondria talking, darling!
So, thank you, Pedro, for immemorializing this sentiment <3
Find Pedro online at www.pedrofins.net
Tonight was dedicated to #fatshion: the politics of looking cute and the amazingness of things like vbo (visible belly outline) and muffin-top-promoting mini skirts! Natasha, Halmoni's owner, invited me to look through my fat girl treasure trove and pick out the pieces that were ready for new homes. They went up on Halmoni's racks for one night.
I must tell you something important about Halmoni: it's magical. Beyond the unicorns and kittens decor, the shop is infused with this incredible energy and beauty. Every little detail and fixture has been lovingly bedazzled, painted pink or Tiffany blue, and every piece of clothing has been chosen lovingly by Natasha.
The night started with mingling and sangria sipping (and there were also plenty of Debbie Cakes!). The Daily Californian was in attendance (look for the link to coverage of the event next week). Each of us in the room talked about a piece we had on and what we loved about it. People spoke about beloved earrings that chimed, personality defining hats, ribbon embellished mary janes, and swimsuit coverups that were doubling as dresses! I read from Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion and then it was time to shop. Almost everyone left with something they loved.
FAQs regarding the Fat Girl Pop-Up Shop:
Is Halmoni your new favorite spot for plus size vintage?
Were there tiny heart-shaped cakes with the word fat on them at the event?
Is it true that there were Miss Piggy price tags on your clothes?
Was there grapefruit infused bubbly water and tecate and blueberries and taffy and PINK SANGRIA?
This piece of taffy inspired the new hashtag #mycandymatchesmynails! Today was busy so I didn't have time to redo my mani; so I spruced up the fading tips with some electric green french tips while I was waiting in line for my Blue Bottle iced coffee. I highly recommend the two tone french manicure emergency fix!
In looking through the deepest reaches of my favorite fashion picks in preparation for tomorrow's (yes, tomorrow!) Fat Girl Pop Up Shop, I found some real show stoppers & wonderful pieces that reminded me of all kinds of fierce fat girl moments. I dropped off my goodies today at Halmoni and got the scoop that Natasha will be serving up pink sangria and there will be some local press in attendance! Ooooh! I thought I'd throw some images your way to give you just a taste of what's on offer tomorrow night. The event starts at 6pm. There is a $5 fee for the event (which you can pre-pay for here). This event will be held at Halmoni Vintage, located at 1621 2nd Avenue, Oakland, CA.
So, this is Fat Girl Pop-Up Shop comprised of my clothes! It is happening next Friday, August 23 in Oakland at Halmoni Vintage! I will be giving fashion tips and helping fatties style looks during the event (oooooh). I'm bringing LITERALLY dozens of pieces for the pop-up shop.. here's a sneak-a-boo of some stuff I dug up today. Almost everything is priced under $10 (with the exception of a few prized items: think vintage fur and sequins). There will be shoes, accessories, dresses, skirts, and tops. You NEED to be there! I will post some more goodies this week! xo
p.s. I have limited spots for putting some items on hold if you are planning to attend the event. Email me at email@example.com if you see something you need to have.
Hannah of the Smitten Kitten radio show Sex & Coffee interviewed me on fat, sexuality and the weird, creepy myth that there are smaller people living inside of fat people trying to break free. Oh, and some details on my adventures in Las Vegas at BBW FanFest.
Rachel Marcus came up to me during the pre-dyke march gathering at Dolores Park during Pride weekend as I was chilling outside a tent my friends had set up, holding some healing crystals and sipping some hibiscus tea - as one does. She told me she had a copy of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion in her bag and that we should get some lunch. So we totally did!
We had awesome mall Thai at the Metreon (addiction) and chatted about what had inspired her to become a personal trainer and how fucked up the dieting/fitness industry was. You know how suspicious I am of health and fitness rhetoric, ghurl, but being around Rachel felt really good. I also know that there are fat folks who have fitness oriented goals who deserve someone amazing to work with them on.
I wanted to introduce you to Rachel because I love her philosophy and I think she's revolutionizing the idea of fitness.
Here's what I wanted to know:
What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Larry and Luna’s Coconut Bliss ice cream… any flavor, really, but especially lavender.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Rachel Marcus, and I’m a Certified Personal Trainer working in San Francisco and Oakland. I work with people of all sizes, backgrounds and abilities to train to move with greater joy and ease in the body they’re in.
My website is rmarcusfitness.com
So, I saw you at NOLOSE! What was your NOLOSE experience like?
It was friggin amazing! It was so inspiring to be around so many fierce, beautiful people embracing and loving their bodies.
I experienced and witnessed people giving each other a lot of space to learn, grow, question, and be challenged. I saw this happening in conversations about healthism, intersectionality of race/class/gender, being an ally, and body acceptance.
I went to some awesome workshops, met some people that I hope to stay in touch with, and was challenged and embraced in positive, growing ways.
What is your relationship with your body/fitness history and what inspired your HAES (Health At Every Size) fitness training practice?
I am someone who came to fitness later in life. As a fat kid, my physician father put a lot of pressure on me to join sports teams as a way to lose weight. I hated sports. Soccer, tennis, and running were sources of pure humiliation, especially with my father screaming pointers at me from the sidelines.
I moved to the Bay Area when I was 21, and I had a friend who worked at the local YMCA. She encouraged me to join, and I discovered a community of folks of all ages, sizes, genders and abilities encouraging each other to work out. It was in this space that I came to realize that I really do enjoy moving my body.
It was only until I was able to accept my body as it was and be surrounded by a supportive community that I was able to access athletics in a sustainable, positive and ongoing way. I went on to run marathons and do other things that I truly never thought I was capable of. I realized that I didn’t have to lose weight to start running; I was just fine running as I was, taking it at my own slow and steady pace.
My Health at Every Size practice is inspired by my own experience of accessing fitness through honoring and appreciating my body. Loving my body takes work. I am healing and becoming and evolving everyday. I believe that self-esteem is as much a cornerstone of overall wellness as physical activity and nourishing food. I wanted to work with others in their processes to become more physically confident and embodied.
The real impetus that sparked my journey, though, was when a friend introduced me to Gina Lovoi, a fat-friendly, HAES fitness trainer in SF. She is a reputable boxing coach and excellent trainer who has been in the business for over 12 years. When I contacted her, she had just opened her own studio in SOMA and she graciously took me under her wing and has been my mentor in this practice. I’ve been really lucky to work out of a studio with like-minded folks in a small, private, client-centered environment.
Fitness is often associated with weight loss. How do you maneuver / keep that ideology out of your practice?
I don’t set weight goals with clients; I set fitness goals. It’s really that simple. I work with each client to set and achieve a specific and appropriate fitness goal. It can be anything from walking up the stairs without being out of breath, to running a marathon, and anything in between. I explain to people that weight changes may or may not happen as a result. I work with people whose goals are to increase their physical capacity: to feel stronger, more agile, and more powerful. If a client wants a trainer who will dictate a specific diet and weight loss plan, there are plenty of other places they can go.
For those who want to work on developing a better, more intuitive relationship with food as well, and who specifically ask for my help with that, I share resources, tools and support on intuitive eating. I am in no way a certified expert. These resources mostly come from my work studying nutrition with Dr. Linda Bacon, one of the pioneers of the Health at Every Size movement.
Tracey Thompson's Fatropolis has come with me on many solo coffee dates and a few trips.
I'll admit something to you: I am not a fiction/fantasy reader. So I always have this period of reluctance right when I think I'm going to start reading a work of fiction. It goes like this:
"Hmmm... well, I could read this or I could read something about the ethnobotanical history of Honduras."
I know, I knooooow. But ethnobotanical thrillers are like my kryptonite, ghurl! I've been a non-fiction reader/writer for a long, long time, but occasionally a book will come along and lure me away from my usual literary fare. Fatropolis was totally that book for me this summer!
The story follows Jenny, a super sized woman who falls through a portal in a dressing room in Manhattan that takes her to an alternate universe where fat is the norm and thin people experience the sort of oppression and aggression that I've known as a fat person my whole life. She meets cute boys and takes lots of baths and has lots of donuts. What's not to lurve?
Yes, I'm hooked on the story, but the book also gets deep and real about fatphobia and self-hatred. There were descriptions of internalized fatphobic/dieting patterns that reminded me how far I've come in my body liberation journey and Thompson's alternate fat universe really highlights how far we have to go in our fight against fat oppression.
I love that Jenny is a super sized character, and Tracey Thompson writes very frankly about the struggles that Jenny faces romantically and professionally, as well as in public spaces like restrooms and movie theatres. There were moments, I admit, that were educational to me as a a mid-sized fat woman (and these moments reminded me I needed to step up!). As Jenny's relationship to her body morphs, Thompson doesn't shy away from showcasing the complexity of the relationship that even fat positive people face with our bodies.
This book is accessible with a compelling plotline. I can't wait to finish it!
You can buy Fatropolis on Amazon & if you want to commit to two amazing fat positive books, pick up a copy of Hot & Heavy while you're at it!
Virgie Tovar, MA is one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp (a 4 week online course focused on helping people break up with diet culture) and the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, 2012). She writes about the intersections of size, identity, sexuality and politics. See more updates on Facebook.