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Daily Share: Virgie Tovar’s Fatphobia Talk Sparks Sneers from Fox News, Trolls

Virgie laughs it off in the #DropTheTowel campaign.

Virgie laughs it off in the #DropTheTowel campaign.

Virgie Tovar, a contributing writer and friend to Wear Your Voice, has recently received a great deal of criticism from fatphobic, predominantly conservative critics.

The University of Minnesota recently invited Virgie to talk about the politics of fatphobia and thin privilege in honor of International No Diet Day. Virgie’s talk, “Dispelling Myths: Fat, Fatphobia, and Challenging Social Stereotypes,” calls on people to challenge concepts of Eurocentric beauty standards and accessibility, and to think about how they benefit from any privilege they may have.

People do not always like to think about these things. They may react strongly, internalizing this message and inherent guilt as being “bad.” Rather than stepping back and thinking about it critically, they often retaliate through trolling and passive aggressive reporting.

On Wednesday, Fox News ran an article about Virgie’s talk. The writer (who doesn’t even appear to have attended the lecture) describes it in condescending tones, ending with, “No surprise, Tovar, who lists her occupation as ‘fat activist,’ has a Masters in Human Sexuality—with a focus on the ‘intersection of body size, race and gender’ — and taught at the University of California, at Berkeley, where that is considered an actual academic field of study.”

Munchkin knows what's up.

Munchkin knows what’s up.

It brought the trolls out of the woodwork, both in the article’s comments section and on Twitter.

We commend Virgie for her incredible work. She sheds light on tough issues and does so with incredible warmth, humor, and compassion. Virgie has worked very hard for people of color and the fat and body positive communities. Activists like her are integral to becoming a society that no longer hurts and oppresses others. Voices like Virgie’s and her peers’ shed light on tough issues, help others own their self-loathing, and move beyond emotionally damaging behaviors. They also help create dialogue that advances policies to protect marginalized people from further discrimination and harm.

Hater tears also make an excellent toner.

Hater tears also make an excellent toner.

Get it, Virgie.  We love and support you.

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Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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