Gloria Jean Watkins or better known by her pen name – bell hooks, was one of my first introductions to the construct of race, gender, and class through the perspective of a Black woman. Yes, I had many encounters with these subjects throught the surface level curriculum of my school, but it was bell hooks’ philosophy’s that impacted my life the most. Hooks took intense topics such as gender and race and added love in her book “All about love” to shed prespective on how love impacts our society despite the urge to keep it out of our professional lives. The intricate intimacy hooks’ messages contain can only be reached once a layer of pride is removed and an acceptance for perspective replaces all expectations. For me, bell hooks’ work has layers of complexity that I could mellow on for hours. She brings light into sealed off crevices in people’s minds that are too shameful to be expressed in the world – she expresses themes of healing and endorses criticizing the systems that have failed us. Hooks expressed that it is okay to fit outside of the social binary of what a society expects us to be. It is her message of speaking freely that made the difference in how I see myself shaping a society that better represents and protects me. The work of bell hooks changed the way I thought and felt about myself in a positive way. When I was in the quarantine of 2020, I can recall stumbling upon bell hooks’ videos on YouTube and watching them day by day. I did not fully understand her work until spring of 2022 when I needed to write an introductory speech on any random person. Immediately, my mind flashed to bell hooks and her philosophies on gender, race, class and most importantly – love. I jumped back into her work looking into all of the different topics she wrote about and came across her book “All about love.” All about love changed my perspective on how I treat myself and I learned to embrace that I should not burden myself with societal expectations. Through bell hooks’ work I have learned to love myself and others intensely. Loving ourselves and one another is not something that is widely discussed in our society. I feel that if we all take time to let down our masks and view others through a softer lens the world would be a kinder place.