Mother, Where Art Thou?
The Instagram Stars Hiding Their Famous, Muslim-Hating Mom, Pamela Geller
GirlWithNoJob, JackieOProblems, and the rest of the Instagram-famous family have gone to great lengths to conceal the identity of their Islamophobic mother.
Claudia, Jackie, Olivia, and Margo Oshry are a group of sisters in New York living the millennial dream, running viral Instagram accounts and ruthlessly curating their online images.
Claudia, the most famous of the bunch, is better known online as Girl With No Job. After graduating from NYU in 2016 and lamenting about her desire to avoid a traditional office job, she began running several viral social-media accounts full-time under the pseudonym Girl With No Job. Now, she makes a living sharing funny memes and stolen tweets to her nearly 3 million Instagram followers.
Jackie runs a Twitter account and Instagram known as Jackie O Problems, a nod to the wife of President John F. Kennedy, where she shares memes, jokes about Bravo TV stars, and lots of selfies. Margo is responsible for the food-porn Instagram account @hungoverandhungry_, which has racked up more than 100,000 followers. Olivia acts as the “momager,” overseeing a YouTube and Facebook Live show that Claudia and Jackie host call “The Morning Breath.”
All four girls travel in a pack, obsessively retweeting each other, posting photos of themselves while talking about the importance of family.
“The only thing I love more than America is my family. Happy fifth everyone!” Jackie tweeted in 2014, linking to a since-deleted Instagram post.
But there is one family member in particular who is conspicuously absent from the Oshry sisters’ social-media posts: their mother, the anti-Islam activist, hate-monger, and diehard Trump supporter Pamela Geller.
Pamela Geller has built a career off leveraging the media to incite outrage with her racist, Islamophobic comments. She is widely regarded as an alt-right troll; the Southern Poverty Law Center described her rhetoric as “hate speech.”
In 2013, she was banned from entering England after the British government said having her in the country would “not be conducive to the public good.” In 2015, she hosted a “Draw the Prophet Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas—the site where two gunmen were killed by a security guard after plotting an attack at the event.
None of the girls have spoken out or denounced their mother’s extremist views.
In fact, the Oshry sisters have gone to great lengths to conceal their connection to their mother.
Family photos including their mother have been stripped from their Instagrams. All past references to her have been removed. The sisters post “family” photos of the four of them, always without their mother.
Jackie posted a photo of herself and her three sisters without Geller.
“Thankful that we got a picture that we all like!” the caption reads.
Geller simultaneously posted a photo of herself on the same balcony alone.
“Thankful for my freedom, the troops, my supporters and @milo.yiannopoulos for publishing my book, FATWA,” the caption says.
(Geller’s Instagram post was removed hours after publication of this story.)
The Oshry sisters Snapchat from Geller’s apartment, yet never allow her to appear in the background. When Claudia shared her engagement photos with wedding site The Knot, she made sure that her mother, who attended her daughter’s engagement party and wedding, did not appear in any photos.
And when Claudia married her social-media star boyfriend Ben Soffer, also known as “Boy With No Job,” in 2017, the two tightly controlled which photos and videos of the event were released. Despite inviting several well-known Instagrammers, Claudia refused to let any of her 275 guests bring phones to the wedding or take photos of their own.
Although they vacation with Geller, regularly spend time with her, and reference their “mom” on social media, none of the Oshry sisters follow the far-right agitator on social media or interact with her content.
Their father, Michael Oshry, passed away from a heart attack in 2008; in an article for The Huffington Post, Jackie wrote that she still takes time to commemorate him on social media.
It might be easy to interpret the Oshry sisters’ distance from Geller as disdain. Most children are mortified by their parents and it’s not unheard of to not follow your mom back on Instagram. None of the Oshry sisters have given a hint that they’re embarrassed by their mother’s views. They have either stayed silent on political issues, or, in some cases, given hints that they are at least somewhat in line with their mother politically.
“Listening to Obama talk about ISIS is like listening to me talk about quantum physics,” Claudia tweeted in 2015. Jackie quickly retweeted her, commenting, “Listening to Obama talk about ISIS is like listening to me talk about boys. I too don’t understand the enemy.”
“Hi @POTUS, Can you reimburse me for all the cabs I’m taking bc your piece shit of plan to defeat ISIS makes me scared to take the subway? Ty,” Jackie tweeted to Obama in 2015.
Throughout the election, Jackie posted a rant about Obama on Snapchat and became so outspoken for Trump that several of her followers branded her “JacKKKie.” She posted one snap in 2017 following Brexit with the caption, “Will America ever get a chance to get a brexit style vote to leave the UN?”
Margo excitedly attended Trump’s inauguration and posted photos of herself to Instagram wearing a gold MAGA hat. “When Trump gives me a reason to Instagram another picture of myself, you know I’m down,” she wrote.
Jackie also posted a closeup of Melania Trump at the inauguration, of the first lady wearing a pale blue dress with matching gloves, with the caption, “Jackie O Approved! #MAGA.”
Olivia keeps the lowest profile of all the Oshry sisters. She avoids posting about Trump and politics completely, instead posting mostly about “The Morning Breath” and live-tweeting The Bachelor.
Claudia has also steered clear of politics in more recent years. “Hate Trump? Hate Hillary? Vote GWNJ!” she tweeted a week before the election, encouraging people to vote for Girl With No Job in the People’s Choice Awards.
Alex Taub, founder of SocialRank, a social-media analytics company, told The Daily Beast he can sympathize with the sisters, who are probably in the tough position of loving their mom, but potentially not aligning with her more extremist views.
He doesn’t think it’s a problem that Claudia and Margo in particular have avoided the issues of politics altogether—and instead built more benign viral empires bases on memes and food.
“If you weigh in on politics in general you’re going to alienate someone at this point,” he said. “Most people on Instagram following meme accounts are progressive young people, so for those who do lean right, it could actually hurt them to disclose that.”
Taub said that viral meme accounts only work “if you go all politics or not.”
“Just dipping in can be potentially bad,” he said. “You don’t need to get political to have a successful meme account and you don’t need politics to blow up in the meme world, there’s enough memes to go around for everybody.”
Ben*, who runs several viral Instagram meme accounts, one of which has over 1.6 million followers, told The Daily Beast that he also understands why the sisters would avoid politics at all costs on their personal channels, most notably because he thinks it probably helps them grow.
“People use memes and food porn as an escape from politics like other types of media and entertainment,” he said, “which is a reason I could see for accounts not wanting to get political.”
Still, some viral meme stars have felt the need to use their platforms to speak out.
One man, who goes by Tank Sinatra on Instagram and has over 1.5 million followers on his primary meme account, recently posted a screenshot of a tweet from right-wing commentator Dinesh D’Souza mocking Parkland shooting students’ grief.
“This is not funny, at all. But I have 1.4 million followers and I wanted as many people to know as possible that this is what the American people are up against,” he wrote.
“I want to be considerate of the fact that my followers are on my page to escape politics and all that,” he told The Daily Beast. “But I don’t want to be silent on issues that matter.”
Claudia, Jackie, and Olivia declined to comment through their public-relations representative.
Like their mother, however, the Oshry sisters are undeniably expert media manipulators. To make a living as a social-media star or to scale your viral Instagram account requires a certain level of social awareness, fluency with digital platforms, and unabashed trolling. The Oshry sisters and their mother are both clearly adept.
As Claudia and Jackie say in the promo reel for their show on Oath, “We’re extremely influential.”
Update: Claudia Oshry provided this statement to The Daily Beast after this story's publication.
"We want to be clear to our audience and fans that our political and cultural beliefs are not anti-Muslim or anti-anyone. Our views are separate from our mother’s. Being raised by a single parent, we were taught to make our own choices based on our personal beliefs. We are inspired to think for ourselves and we do. We do not condone discrimination or racist beliefs of any kind."