Big Brother runner-up Derek Frazier is ‘tall, gay, black and fabulous’

"Big Brother" Runner-up Derek Frazier holds nothing back when it comes to his body confidence, which he learned as the son of a boxing champion and his dreams

Big Brother Runner-up Derek Frazier is holding back nothing when it comes to his body confidence skills, learned as the son of a boxing champion, and his dreams of “big gay black” representation. (Image credit: Getty Images)

It shows is Yahoo Life’s body image series, exploring the journeys of influential and inspiring personalities as they explore what body confidence, body neutrality and self-love mean to them.

Say what you want big brother 23Runner-up Derek Frazier, but the 31-year-old son of boxing champ Smokin’ Joe Frazier knows his worth – and he doesn’t let anyone rain his parade.

“I enjoy being a big guy. Are there things I want to work on? Yeah, but that’s the thing: I want to work on that I myself‘ Frazier tells Yahoo Life. “I’m tall, gay, black and fabulous. I have a great personality and if I make you uncomfortable, that’s on you. Not me.”

Indeed, Frazier’s larger than life personality made him a fan favorite big brother 23, for which he came second after housemate Xavier Prather won the top prize. Regardless of where he was placed, Frazier says he still feels like a winner — especially since his appearance on the show has provided opportunities for him to talk about body confidence, a topic close to his heart.

“It’s so funny. I have faith in my body now, but four years ago you couldn’t tell me that,” he says. “I knew I was always going to be a big guy, but I had to go through a phase to understand you know what do i want to be I went through that skinny era where my head looked like a big ass bobblehead doll. I remember that era very briefly, the one part I enjoyed: walking inside [clothing] store and just buy whatever I want. That was great, of course, but I realized that nothing had changed [in life overall].”

“It made me realize, oh I did all this starving myself, eating less than 1,000 calories a day, lost all this crazy weight in six months, for what?” he continues. “That’s when I realized, you know what? I have to do this for myself.”

Frazier credits his time on the show with helping him unravel years of inner turmoil stemming from his childhood. The son of a world-class boxing champion, he explains, he put pressure on him to “rise” to the standard of his famously fit father, who he says was a huge supporter in his life.

“My father never pushed [extreme fitness] on me,” he says. “He wanted me to focus on school and live my best life. Now sometimes I sit back and say, ‘I wish he’d kicked my ass a little.’ But you know, he’s never made me feel like being big as I am or who I am is a problem.”

Frazier couldn’t resist the pressures of adjusting to growing up, though he says in retrospect that it made him stronger.

“Because I’m Joe Frazier’s son, people consider me an embarrassment because they’re like, ‘How do you go from this world heavyweight champion to this guy? He is gay. He is tall. He’s not like Joe Frazier at all,’” he recalls. “I’ve probably had to deal with that my whole life. Am I grateful for that? Yes, because it taught me a lot. I don’t wish it on anyone, but I’m glad I went through it because it taught me what people can be like — and it also gave me the backbone I needed to stand up for myself.”

Frazier has certainly come a long way, and now he’s using his platform to shine the spotlight on others and celebrate beauty in all shapes and sizes in the virtual world Bodcon 2023 on Sunday March 5 for which he will speak about the lessons he has learned in life and why it is important for men – especially gay men of color – to have conversations about disruptive standards of beauty.

“I never thought in a million years there would be a BodCon,” he says. “I’m really excited because, being a big guy, I’ve struggled in a lot of areas and it’s taken me until now, at the age of 31, to kind of get to the point where I like, like I look.”

Looking ahead, Frazier hopes to be a beacon to other plus-size men who have been their own “saboteurs” for so long.

“I think guys are afraid to talk about their bodies and I hate it because it’s so fucked up,” he explains. “If you think about it, over the years, men have been able to look however they want and they never got the same kind of stigma that women did. So, I think when men talk about it, it’s like, ‘What are you talking about? I’ve looked or been like this for years.’ I think the plus size men don’t really talk about their bodies because they’ve come to terms with being their own saboteurs and keeping it to themselves not to make it public, while women because they’ve had to come to terms with their bodies Image public for years, more on a platform.”

That’s why, Frazier says, he hopes more stories like his can inspire other “big, gay men” to not apologize, to be themselves — and to understand that their experience is, in fact, their “power.”

“There might be someone out there who’s like, ‘Wow, I don’t feel attractive. I do not look good,”he says. “And that’s why I don’t just stand up for myself, but also for other people. If I need to be that person to kick that door down and push for more people to look like me on TV shows so people can have others to relate to then baby let’s go.

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