It is a known fact that since winning American Idol in 2005, Carrie Underwood has put her fame and fortune to good use, donating large amounts of money to various charities while raising awareness and support for those less fortunate than herself. Her newest single, “Little Toy Guns”, is another attempt by Underwood to address an important social issue, one that may be closer to home for many.
Directed by PR Brown, the video begins in the midst of a heated argument between a couple standing at the top of a staircase. As the volume of the argument grows, the camera takes us down to a child’s level and allows us to see the world through the eyes of a ten-year-old girl who sits in the closet covering her ears. All of a sudden, the dolls, blankets and drawings on the wall are replaced with an enchanted forest setting, like something out of a fairy-tale, and the shouting is drowned out by Underwood’s powerful vocals.
Bringing Underwood’s emotive lyrics to life, the video captures the child’s desire to escape into a fantasy world where words are harmless and where she becomes the hero that reunites her parents. However, the end of the video, which returns to the real world, lessens the impact of the song’s poignant message, and gives the wrong impression that difficulties at home can be solved by simply reaching out and holding hands.
In the twenty-first century, domestic violence is faced head on, with many organizations fighting to stop it. Yet, with the release of this video, Underwood reminds us that it is not just physical abuse that can leave a wound, but words too, and that children are the real victims, who often find themselves caught in the crossfire.