Onision is a popular figure in the YouTube community, with two main channels that have about 2 million subscribers each. He is best known for the hit “Banana Song” video as well as assorted comedy bits and self-help advice.
But there’s another piece of his online persona that is way creepier than goofy music videos and hackneyed comedy sketches. On his OnisionSpeaks YouTube channel, he sometimes publishes videos that consist of him critiquing young girls’ bodies. In these videos, he shows pictures of real girls, some of them fully clothed but others wearing only underwear and a bra.
Onision tells the girls that they should lose or gain weight, as part of helping them attain what he says is the ideal body type so they can feel good about themselves.
While he’s nice to the fit girls, he sometimes says fat girls have “Shrek bodies.” He’ll also make comments on whether he thinks the girls suffer from anorexia based on their pictures. “I know anorexia doesn’t have a look, but if it did, it would look like this,” he commented on one girl’s photo. To an Asian girl with lots of acne, he said “Whatever, not all Asian people can be perfect.”
We have decided not to embed the videos in this story, but his channel is here. Onision makes enough money off the advertising that runs with this videos to support himself.
To find the photos to critique, Onision, whose real name is Greg Jackson, draws from a forum that he owns and operates, onision.xyz, where girls register and then submit pictures of themselves in hopes of being featured in one of videos. The videos run as long as six minutes and garner hundreds of thousands of views. In the photos they submit, many girls write his name on their bodies in deference to him. Onision, who is 31, actively encourages girls to post photos of themselves on his forum for use in his videos.
“A lot of you posted pictures to the forums wanting opinions on your body types/demonstrating how a body can look ugly from one angle, then better from another angle or position… I think there is a lot to learn in this video & overall, I really appreciate your contributions,” he wrote on the description under one of his newer body-image videos.
In just a half-hour of scrolling through some of the pages and pages of posts and photos in his forum, I found dozens and dozens of examples of girls who list ages for themselves that are between 11 and 17.
When registering to be a member on Onision’s forum there is no age verification and nowhere in the terms and conditions does it say that users have to be 18 to post pictures of themselves. If there is language discouraging such actions it is not easily visible on the site.
Another girl, ayukawaiineko_, specifically says she is under 18 but will not tell Onision how old because he has used her in his videos and it would cause him problems. In an earlier post she claims to be 15.
Another girl, Rowanw, posted a desperate message to Onision on the forum, claiming her 13-year-old sister was featured in one of his videos in her underwear. She asked him to edit it out.
Despite the plea, it does not appear Onision has edited the video from November 8 called “TRY HARD GIRLS (The TRUTH About Selfies),” where he mocks and ridicules a series of young-looking girls’ appearance. The girl with the Calvin Klein underwear mentioned in the above post is still in it.
In reference to the girl who is allegedly 13 years old, Onision says in the November 8 video: “Your self esteem is so low, you had to put an emoji on your face.”
I reached out to Onision requesting comment via email this week, specifically on the issue of age of the girls posting on the forum, but have not heard back. Since then, though, Onision has published a new video on YouTube called “Legal Age vs Underage Teenagers (Guessing Girls Ages).” In the video, he tries to guess the ages of different girls who have submitted pictures via the forum to “demonstrate how complicated age of consent is.” (He knows their real ages because they’ve revealed that in their posts. )
With some girls in the video, he guesses younger than their real ages and with others, older. In going through that exercise, though, Onision effectively acknowledges that there are many young teens who post pictures of themselves on the forum. A number of them, the video makes clear, are between 13 and 15.
It’s not just in Onision’s YouTube life that he spends a lot of time around teenage girls. His domestic life has also revolved around them.
In 2012, when he was 27, Onision began dating his future wife, who was 17 at the time and still in high school. They now have a child together. In 2011, he dated Canadian singer-songwriter Shiloh Hoganson, who was also 17 at the time. Both his current wife and previous girlfriend have appeared in a number of his videos. His wife at one point had her own lesbian lover, Billie, who is 19 and also appears in some of Onision’s videos.
Onision has been a lightning rod for Internet drama for a good decade, from his many spats with ex-girlfriends, to his controversial comments on rape. He can also be a walking contradiction: He berates people on social media for not being enlightened feminists, while telling some young girls in his videos that they have disgusting bodies.
Now it appears that at least one mom may have discovered Onision’s body-image site—and she is not happy to learn that her daughter is posting to it. This past weekend, a Reddit user claiming to be a concerned mother posted on the subreddit /r/TwoXChromosomes warning people about Onision after she says she caught her 13-year-old daughter posting pictures in the forum in her underwear with Onision written on her stomach.
“He apparently has a penchant for young girls,” she wrote. “Be aware of what your kids are doing online.”
The post got to the front page of Reddit before being deleted by the person who posted it. Many commenters have called on YouTube to ban Onision for encouraging girls, some of them scantily clad, to post pictures of themselves on his forum.
Onision hasn’t responded publicly to the furor surrounding the popular Reddit post.