Berman TV Show Transcripts

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The following program contains content which is sexual in nature. It is not intended that any viewer rely on the content of the program for medical advice. If you believe you require medical or psychological advice or treatment, please consult your doctor.

Berman & Berman
For Women Only

01:00:10 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
The female breast is synonymous with sexuality, but do breasts really define us sexually?

01:00:16 Dr. Laura Berman OC
Whether we have big ones or little ones, we're just never happy.

01:00:19 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
What is this obsession with breasts?

01:00:22 Dr. Laura Berman OC
Breasts and sexuality.

01:00:24 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
We're Berman & Berman.

01:00:25 Dr. Laura Berman OC
And this is For Women Only.

Berman & Berman
For Women Only

01:01:41 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
Hello, and welcome. We're talking about breasts today, big ones, little ones, fat ones, skinny ones. Are you happy with yours?

01:00:48 Dr. Laura Berman OC
I'm happy with mine, although she keeps telling me that I need to have a boob job.

01:00:52 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
They're a little droopy, but she had a baby.

01:00:54 Dr. Laura Berman OC
They are not droopy. She's feeling a little bit violent today. My breasts are fine. Thank you, I'm happy with them. This is actually a new disorder. Instead of me having my own body image issues, my sister has them for me.

01:01:08 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
I have it for her. I'm the plastic surgery evangelist, so?

01:01:15 Dr. Laura Berman OC
So, we have, so we're going to be talking about the role that breasts play in sexuality, what to do, if you're not happy with them, whether it's okay to?

01:01:24 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
To change them.

01:01:25 Dr. Laura Berman OC
And whether it's okay to be happy with them, like me. We sort of have different points of views on this.

01:01:30 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
Well, I'm Jennifer Berman.

01:01:31 Dr. Laura Berman OC
And I'm Laura Berman, and we run the Female?

Drs. Jennifer & Laura Berman

?Sexual Medicine Center at UCLA here In Los Angeles. I'm a sex therapist, and Jennifer's a urologist.

01:01:39 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
Not a boob expert.

01:01:41 Dr. Laura Berman OC
And an armchair boob expert

01:01:44 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
We're focusing on breasts and sexuality. What we want to know is, what is the fascination with breasts? We went out on the streets, and here's what some of you said.

01:01:52 Female Interviewer VO
Is breast size important?

<Obscured> important?
Berman & Berman

01:01:54 Female with blue and white T-shirt OC
Oh, my God, I spent half my life thinking that it was. And it was horrible. I mean, it's horrible growing up with little breasts.

01:02:03 Female with scarf OC
I think small breasts can be very beautiful. I think big breasts can. It depends on how they're embellished.

01:02:11 Female with blue and white T-shirt OC
It took me a long time to finally say, "You know what, they're cute. They might be small, but they're cute."

01:02:17 Female with black top OC
What you see is what you get. If you got to be happy with me, I'm not going to alter anything.

01:02:21 Female Interviewer VO
Are you happy with your breasts?

Are you happy with your breasts?
Berman & Berman

01:02:22 Female with scarf OC
Yeah. I'm happy with my breasts.

01:02:25 Female with dark glasses OC

01:02:26 Female with green hat OC
I don't mind them. I know the size they are.

01:02:29 Female with blue turtleneck OC
I am very happy with my breasts.

01:02:33 Dr. Laura Berman OC/VO
"Small but cute." Our first guest may have the answer. She's an award-winning journalist and the author of Breasts, The Women's Perspective on an American Obsession. Carolyn Latteier, welcome. We also have with us the West Coast editor of Stuff magazine, Lori Canter Finn <ph>. Hi. Now, Jennifer, you take it away.

01:02:51 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC/VO
Thanks, Laura. Carolyn, we're going to start with you. How did we become such a breast-obsessed society?

01:02:57 Carolyn Latteier OC/VO
Well, we do have a peculiar obsession with breasts in this culture. A lot of people think it's just the human nature to be fascinated with breasts?

Carolyn Latteier

?but in many cultures, breasts aren't sexual at all. I interviewed a young anthropologist working with women in Mali, in a country in Africa where women go around with bare breasts. They're always feeding their babies. And when she told them that in our culture men are fascinated with breasts there was an instant of shock. The women burst out laughing. They laughed so hard, they fell on the floor. They said, "You mean, men act like babies?"

01:03:29 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
Well, what is it about the breast? Why are, is American culture so obsessed with it?

01:03:33 Carolyn Latteier VO/OC
Well, I think it is partly to do with the fact that we don't breastfeed very much. I mean, breastfeeding rates have improved, but most women don't breastfeed very much or very long or in public. So when we see a breast, we don't say, "Oh there are those magical milk-making things."

01:03:48 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
They're sexual in nature.

01:03:49 Carolyn Latteier VO
They're sexual.

01:03:50 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
I see.

01:03:51 Carolyn Latteier OC/VO
And then also if you believe what happens when we're young, when we're an infant or a baby, matters, it means that since most of us weren't breastfed to a year or two the way babies worldwide are, that we're still longing for that breast.

01:04:06 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
Do you feel that American or a lot of them still, are not breastfeeding, why?

01:04:12 Carolyn Latteier OC/VO
Well, there've been a lot of studies of this, and it shows that if women have encouragement from their culture, from their mom, their father, their girlfriends, their husband, they tend to breastfeed very successfully and very naturally. But in our culture, in spite of the fact that doctors promote it, it really isn't accepted. You know, women have been arrested for breastfeeding in public. They've been kicked out of malls for breastfeeding. I had a friend who, was opened her blouse to breastfeed her baby, and her father said, "That's disgusting," and walked out of the room. But you know, of the women I interviewed, the ones that were happiest with their breasts were the women while they were breastfeeding. They weren't thinking about, "Is it too small? Is it too big?" It's just doing something wonderful.

01:04:53 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
How do men feel about women's breasts?

01:04:56 Carolyn Latteier OC/VO
How do men feel? Well, the men that I interviewed were self-disclosed breast men. They couldn't tell me why they were breast men, but they could just say that their hair would stick up on the back of the neck. They would go gaga when they saw breasts.

01:05:09 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
Is there any man who's not a breast man?

01:05:11 Carolyn Latteier OC/VO
Oh, yeah. There are plenty. I could tell when I told them what I was writing about the ones whose eyes glazed over were the breast men. And the ones who said, "Oh, is that a feminist book?" weren't. The breast men I did interview had a lot of opinions about what a breast should be like, either the bigger the better or they should be young and springy and stand-upy. I had one man whose fantasy was to be the judge in a breast beauty contest.

01:05:34 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
Or a wet T-shirt contest. I'm going to talk to Lori now. Lori, you're the editor of Stuff magazine. And you're going to show that stuff. And I was really surprised to learn that a woman is picking the models for the cover. What is it that you look for in your cover model?

01:05:52 Lori Canter Finn VO/OC
Well, the things we're looking for, in addition to, obviously, a celebrity, you know, element to it, is someone that is comfortable with their sexuality and someone that is willing to pose in a seductive way, but yet be very comfortable with it and do it in a classy way. You know, we're not doing anything that's let's say, a Cosmo cover or the, you know, What's Sexy Now issue of InStyle.

01:06:15 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO
And what do men consider sexy?

01:06:17 Lori Canter Finn VO/OC
I think, I think what they consider sexy is, you know, a little bit of a tease. It's a revealing shot, yet it's not completely, you know, nude or naked. I think it's how it's presented. And I think if it's done in a, like I said, a classy way, but a very subtle hint of, Hi, this is my, you know, this is about my sexuality, it's sort of the mascot for the sexuality.

01:06:41 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
Are people surprised that you, a woman, chooses the cover for what men want?

01:06:46 Lori Canter Finn OC/VO
I mean, you know, obviously, we have a great team of editors that all make the final decisions, but I'm the one out there, you know, putting my name and my, you know, face out there. And at the photo shoots, I think it's a comfort factor with the women, who, that we, we celebrate these celebrities, in particular, athletes, to actresses, to models, to musicians. They, you know, they know that I'm coming from a place of, you know, a comfort factor. And I can talk about it in a way I know what's comfortable for me, and I can express that?

01:07:17 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO
To them. Yeah, that's true.

01:07:18 Lori Canter Finn OC
?this is what works for our magazine.

01:07:20 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
Rather than a guy saying, "Show a little shoulder. Bend over a little more."

01:07:22 Lori Canter Finn OC
Right, right.

01:07:24 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
Carolyn, how does the media affect women's perceptions of their bodies and breasts?

01:07:28 Carolyn Latteier OC/VO
Well, women see these perfect breasts shown on the media, and they know that their secret is their breasts don't look like that. And because we have a taboo on showing real breasts to each other, it's sort of every woman's secret. So, it makes them feel bad. They want to look like those pictures.

01:07:43 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
We all want to look like the Cosmo cover model. And, Lori, you, I understand, are five months pregnant.

01:07:49 Lori Canter Finn OC
Yes, I am.

01:07:50 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO
And your breasts are looking plump.

01:07:53 Lori Canter Finn OC
Yes, yes, very, very, yes. Well, that's an interesting thing you should bring up because it's, I was, I was fine to begin with, and now they're just a complete irritation to me.

01:08:03 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
Yeah, sure. I remember.

01:08:05 Lori Canter Finn VO/OC
It's not at all comfortable. Or you're not feeling sexy. I'm waiting for the tummy to go out so it kind of de-emphasizes the breasts, actually. I've always been wanting to de-emphasize them.

01:08:15 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
What are most women's feelings about their breasts? Are they happy or not happy?

01:08:20 Carolyn Latteier OC/VO
I would say most women are not happy. I took a bunch of slides of women's breasts, as part of a slide show I put together, and every single woman who took off her shirt for me, had something to say, "Like, my breasts used to be great, but now they're saggy." Or, "I bet I've got the smallest breasts you've ever seen." So, unfortunately, many of them are not happy.

01:08:40 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC/VO
But I think women are like that in general, whether it be their breasts or their thighs or their hair, or the color of their teeth, or whatever it is. I think, we as women are self-deprecating. Do you think that breast size affects how they're perceived?

01:08:54 Carolyn Latteier VO/OC
They've done studies where they show pictures of women with different breast size to people and say, "Write down what you, what this woman is like." And consistently, the woman with the big breasts is considered, "She's very sexual, she's not very dependable, she's not very moral."The small-breasted woman is?

01:09:08 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
Not very moral!

01:09:09 Carolyn Latteier OC/VO
?seen as an intelligent, dependable, a good girl.

01:09:13 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
A good girl, the little breasted woman.

01:09:15 Carolyn Latteier OC

01:09:16 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC
What do both of you think of here, what do you both think of implants, or getting implants?

01:09:20 Carolyn Latteier VO/OC
Well, I'm not nuts about them. It's a voluntary surgery, so it's not a necessary surgery. There's a high problem rate with it. And I think this is going to sound really old-fashioned, but I think there is something to be gained from learning to love your body as it is.

01:09:35 Female Voice VO
That's right.

01:09:36 Dr. Jennifer Berman OC/VO
We do need to love our bodies as it is, but if you just can't get there. What about you?

01:09:40 Lori Canter Finn OC/VO
I agree. I mean, I came from a place when I was a teenager. I wanted the reduction surgery, and I, I had girlfriends growing up and still do that wanted to get implants. I, I felt strongly against them.

01:09:53 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
But after the baby, I can just tell you, based on experience, you're going to balloon up, they're going to shrink down, especially if you breastfeed, to these saggy, wet balloons. You can throw one over your shoulder.

01:10:06 Dr. Jennifer Berman VO/OC
So, thank you, Lori, and thank you, Carolyn, both for being here and sharing your perspectives. We're focusing on breasts and sexuality. What, what if you think your breasts don't measure up even to your own expectations, much less your guy's expectations. We tackle augmentation when we come back. And later, one woman's fight against breast cancer.

Next Breast Enhancement
Later Mastectomy reconstruction

01:10:43 FADE TO BLACK