Topaz as a girl with tiger face paint
Topaz Brownhall

My name is Topaz Brownhall and I’m from England. I grew up on the edge of Dartmoor National Park in a small and secluded village. This quiet and isolated childhood allowed my friends and I to grow up slower, spending our time riding, camping, and hiking on the moors. I recently moved to Bristol to study for a history degree – which I love! My current obsession is Medieval Europe and how it has been portrayed in later centuries through pop-culture, politics, and architecture.
Like most teenagers, I am still working out exactly who or what I want to be. I would love to incorporate my passion for history into a career and thus why I am so excited to be joining the Curatorial department. This internship offers the perfect opportunity to explore a new career whilst having a positive impact on society.
My love of history was first encouraged by my grandma and mum who dragged my brother and I to many museums. To their dismay, we spent most of the time complaining we were hungry and looking for the café! It wasn’t until I studied the Tudors that I realised history was filled with gossip, intrigue, and murder, it was more like reading a gossip magazine than a dusty old textbook! Ironically museums are now one of my favourite places to go. I often visit the V&A when I need time to myself. The bustling exhibits are exciting, but the treasures lie on the highest floors, tucked away are collections of biscuit tins, spoons, and clocks. This may sound like a weird suggestion but next time you visit a museum listen to dramatic music in headphones and you will feel like the main character in an indie movie!
Although pretending to be the main character is beautiful it is also a fleeting form of confidence. Doubt tends to creep into a girl’s head during puberty and stays with her throughout womanhood. This is partly due to social media but also teachers and parents reward girls’ people-pleasing, perfectionist behaviour, sowing the seed that it is easier to conform than be bold. This affects girls and the women that they become as business rewards risk-taking and confidence. Women are less likely to negotiate wages or apply for promotions in fear of rocking the boat. Confidence needs to be addressed as a child, so it doesn’t fester into long-term problems.

I am so excited to join the Girl Museum’s team and look forward to working with many of you.
-Topaz Brownhall
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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