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You Have the Right to Remain Fat

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,127 ratings  ·  214 reviews
Growing up as a fat girl, Virgie Tovar believed that her body was something to be fixed. But after two decades of dieting and constant guilt, she was over it―and gave herself the freedom to trust her own body again. Ever since, she’s been helping others to do the same. Tovar is hungry for a world where bodies are valued equally, food is free from moral judgment, and you ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by The Feminist Press at CUNY
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Krista Regester
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The solution to a problem like bigotry is not to do everything in our power to accommodate the bigotry. It is to get rid of the bigotry

Virgie Tovar destroys this shit. Call her when you’re unsure of yourself, read her words when you forget how to be, and thank fuck that she exists to call out my skinny privilege.

Because you can’t find self-love by walking a path paved by self-hatred.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
It’s said that you shouldn‘t judge a book by its cover, or its size, rather, in this case (no pun intended). Nevertheless: a very small, very thin book with large letters about a topic of massive controversy and relevance, well that’s a challenge. I wish Tovar had succeeded in this regard, but she didn’t, and to be honest, knowing her agenda before reading it, this didn’t come as a big surprise. To start with the positive, there is without any doubt some true and relevant content in this little ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely transformative. I borrowed this teeny-tiny book from the library and read it over the course of a couple hours, but it had a huge impact on me and I’m still mulling over everything I learned. Virgie Tovar is a super smart writer, and this book is the perfect balance of academic and accessible. She puts words to thoughts I’ve had for years but never knew how to articulate. I especially love how she explains the connection between patriarchal values and fatphobia. This book would be a ...more
chantel nouseforaname
This book was a pleasure to read. Short, sweet and to the point. Virgie was dropping straight facts and education. I love and really resonated with some of the before narratives but most of the after narratives about what it's like to find peace and freedom in embracing yourself, your fat fluffy body and just fucking living and enjoying life. It does take awhile for some people to get to that place and it's hard being continuously discriminated against: being a fat black feminist I know that ...more
Karla Strand
For full review, see: F*ck Your Fatphobia.

Overall, I really enjoyed this slim volume and read it in one afternoon. One of the strengths of this book is its accessibility. Tovar is very good at explaining some basic concepts for those who may be new to them, such as bootstrapping and gaslighting, and then builds information on these concepts as the book goes on.

And indeed, the book gets stronger and more impassioned as it goes on. Tovar intersperses information about fat discrimination and body
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Four years ago, sitting on the back of my father's boat, I had taken off my shirt due to the heat. My best friend and father both saw this and their response was: "My god! He's going to die of a heart attack one day." This was spoken out loud, as a jest (although still based on reality).

Eight years ago, my family had praised me for loosing a lot of weight. They continuously told me how much better I looked and how much better I must feel. I have never felt more unhealthy then that time of my
Jemma Dixon
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
‘You Have the Right to Remain Fat’ was a complicated read for me, despite being quite short. I suppose it’s because I contain culture within myself: culture is lived inside of me as I read and think, and culture tends to have fixed ideas about the use(s) of language. (It’s interesting to consider that the word ‘diet’ has switched to ‘optimise your health!’etc...)

“I encourage people to answer this question: What would your life look like if you stopped trying to control your weight? Let’s go
Komi Amegblenke
Nov 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
I absolutely hated this book and only read 75/whatever pages there were

Apparently dieting is the cause of fat phobia. This book is utter bull crap. I've been fat and I have a sibling who is fat. Dieting is a tool in reaching a more appropriate body weight. No says you need to be skinny in order to be beauty. What you see on TV is utter crap. Plus fat isn't truly defined. Some people of the same weight can distribute their fat differently which can complex things and how they and others view
Julie Mickens
Nobody combines academic theory with liberation feminism with personal essay better than Virgie Tovar. She makes it all so fun. She is also brilliantly concise. This book is only 125 quick-reading pages, but it's so potentially transformative that it could become an irreverent catechism for many women, a Little Fat Book, as it were.

ETA -- Post-Trump, I've been pondering more and more the internalized misogyny -- bad enough to vote for that vile creature, anyway, though all women in a
Oct 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Typical feminist tripe. Yeah, okay, be who you are -- it's all good. But promoting unhealthy ideals just to make a point? Get outta here. It's fine to be WHO YOU ARE, but not fine to promote the okayness of it all by couching it in feminist theory. Gross. Fourth wave feminists are complete morons.
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I mean, Virgie knows how to say the things that need to be said, however, I was never fully caught up in her words. While reading Jes Baker or Lindy West or Sonya Renee Taylor, I feel swept up in an emotional whirlwind (in the best way possible) the entire time. With Virgie I felt that there were snippets where I was smacked in the chest, but the rest felt rather messy & stitched together & not very captivating.

I think the bottom line for me is, if you write such a short book, you
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
I LOVED this book. So intelligently written. I wanted to highlight the shit out of it. My only critique is that I struggle with the message about diets when it comes to dealing with my autoimmune disease. Virgie Tovar is writing from a healthy human perspective...but where does one fit in when you’re chronically ill and a diet is the only thing that helps? Where can I fit into this narrative?
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Some really great fat-positive talking points. I’m not keen on militant anything, so it only gets three stars, but as a fat woman, this was a helpful book to read and recommend.
Aimee Dars
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, non-fiction
Tovar Virgie - You Have the Right to Remain Fat

"I had been taught to believe that weight loss was the key to all my heart’s greatest desires, but the truth is that it wasn’t. Because you can’t find self-love by walking a path paved by self-hatred."

Virgie Tovar’s manifesto, You Have the Right to Remain Fat, preaches that there’s nothing wrong with fat people. There is something wrong with the culture that enables the discrimination against, scapegoating of, and prejudice towards fat people. Her message that everyone no matter their size
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Virgie Tovar is an author, researcher, activist, former Buzzfeed-style writer - and so much more. She regularly gives lectures and organizes workshops on body image and fat discrimination. In 2012, she edited the anthology Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion, which I really enjoyed when I read it five years ago. Now her newest book is out: You Have the Right to Remain Fat: A Manifesto.

In this slim volume, Tovar combines autobiographical writing with wider political
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this book 6 stars. I wish it was three times as long.

There are lots of memoirs on topics surrounding fat activism and body positivity. The core message is frequently that fatphobia deeply harms fat people, and this message is told through heartbreaking personal stories.

This book is like that. But Tovar is also a fat scholar, so her book is able to say with clarity - here's how fatphobia is a product of racism and patriarchy. Here's how fatphobia is about creating compliant
Kate Dunn
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am mov'd deeply and never until this book have I been compelled to put down some of the things I've been carrying around my entire life. It's too fresh and too deep to discuss here, but do know this ought to be read by the masses, not just us fat kids. The last 25+ pages or so are a fever of conversion. And fucken freedom.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: america, feminism
Meghan mentioned this book on FB and so when it popped up on my library on Overdrive I was excited. And it’s great - she doesn’t hold back anything in this discussion of basic theory combined with memoir. The only criticism I had is that I wanted it to be longer.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
So many ideas in this that I had not encountered before. It revealed to me my own internalized submission to a culture that brutally tells me I'm not lovable as I am. I'm really grateful she wrote it.
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was so so excited for this book to come out and Virgie certainly did not disappoint. Her manifesto is part memoir, part culture critique and features excellent research and commentary on fatphobia and how diet culture and fear of fatness is directly linked to misogyny. I admire the surety with which Tovar names the hatred and shame fat people are made to feel not by our own shortcomings, but because of the culture we live in that aims to strip us of agency and the magic of our own bodies. Her ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to edelweiss for the E-ARC copy of this book.
I was not entirely familiar with this author’s work, but a friend assured me she’s awesome. I was not disappointed.
Tovar focuses on how fat phobia should truly be viewed from the perspective of “just let me be fat”, instead of fighting so much. If you don’t make demands the other side can not fight with you.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fictie, english
I realize now that all those times I had said "I want to be thin," I actually meant:
I want to be loved.
I want to be happy.
I want to be seen.
I want to be free.
Melanie Page
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Virgie Tovar’s nonfiction book, You Have the Right to Remain Fat, was published by Feminist Press in 2018. It’s 121 pages with what I thought was somewhat large font compared to most books. Thus, I read Tovar in one sitting. The basic synopsis is that Tovar dieted heavily for two decades before finding queer fat activism and learning that her body is not something to alter to please the male gaze or prop up white supremacy. Since then, Tovar has been writing about fat activism in Forbes and ...more
2018 Read Harder Challenge: A book of social science. Here's another case where the longer book I'm reading for this category, "Women, Race, and Class," I may not finish in time. I don't remember how this small book came onto my radar -- possibly on the social media I started following after my love of "The Body is Not An Apology." And as is so often the case, I started reading it even though I was in the middle of multiple other books!

Virgie Tovar's book is staunchly feminist, and I felt like I
Ren Martinez
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book as a gift for my birthday from my best friend, Kate. She and I are fierce feminists who often discuss our favorite Netflix show between diatribes against the patriarchy.

She is also fat, and proudly so. I often reference her as such, like "Yeah, my best friend is fat, and she deals with XYZ." I often get looks or stutters at that, and inevitably explain that Kate accepts the word and has given explicit permission for me to use it. "I am fat," she says. "It's a descriptor,
One of my friends, Milo Violet, recommended I (okay, recommended EVERYONE) pick up Virgie Tovar’s latest book, “You Have the Right to Remain Fat” and I’m thrilled I listened to Milo’s advice. In “You Have the Right to Remain Fat”, Tovar delves into dismantling fatphobia and sexism, while exposing diet culture’s biggest lie: that fat folks need to wait before beginning our best lives.

I loved that this book was incredibly accessible. It was a short volume in which Tovar did a spectacular job of
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Virgie Tovar and love how she pushes for something much more than body positivity, how she advocates that every person has the right to feel completely valued in their own body.

"Controlling women's body size is about controlling women's lives."

"It's important to recognize that the desire to be thin is actually part of a drive to be compliant with current Western expectations of feminine submission and second class citizenship. This model of feminine submission is deeply informed by
If I could give this 100 stars, I would, without irony. I'm just going to say it: Virgie Tovar is the feminist theorist of our generation. This book is monumentally important, wholly original in its voice and approach, and radical as the day is long. Fat liberation is everything, and Virgie is *the* revolutionary thinker and writer needed to boldly decry capitalist body positive half-measures in favor of true freedom for the masses. Not placing body liberation at the center of our politics ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m trying to make some changes with my health, manage my expectations for and feelings about my body, and keep in mind that societal pressures are not mandates. It’s important to have a voice reminding me that food and weight don’t have moral values, that the beauty industry is just that, an industry, and that if people cared so much about “health” they would stop blaming women’s weight for their illnesses and start actually looking for causes.

Being a person is not easy. It’s important to have
Amanda Knox
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism
Wow. I like to read these feminist manifestos because they typically introduce a new point of view or argument that I wasn't previously familiar with, or at least for which I did not have a vocabulary. They also keep my feminist fire alight. When I first began Tovar's piece it seemed like it was going to be another thing on how gyms are bad and cake is good. In part it was this, but it was also so much deeper than this. All of a sudden we were also discussing racisism, white privilege, and ...more
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“We are taught that thin is synonymous with beauty, power, and love. But, in fact, it is not. Beauty is not something women earn; it is something people are. Power is not achieved through the dogged pursuit of homogeneity; it is something that is innate within us and that is strengthened by nonconformity. Love is not something people earn through obedience; it is each person’s birthright. We cannot starve our way into being loved, into being free.” 3 likes
“So maybe you don’t consciously feel inferior, but what if I asked you some follow-up questions, like: “Today are you wearing something that is physically uncomfortable because you believe it makes you look better? “Today did you refuse to eat something you wanted to eat because you were worried what it might do to the way you look? “Today did you refuse to do something you wanted to do because you were worried about how it would make you look to another person? “Today did you deny an impulse to say no or yes to something that mattered to you because you were worried that someone wouldn’t like you if you did it?” 2 likes
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