OK SO I HAVE THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS
I actually had the notion a while back that it would be interesting if cold constructed bots were to feel some sort of dysphoria due to a disconnect between their given frames and the frames they were naturally inclined to develop. The fact that a cold constructed bot like Starscream changes frames so often could be interpreted as an expression of that discomfort. However I ultimately didn’t think that would work because we’ve seen forged bots change frames/alt-modes without expressing any resulting disconnect (I think we’ve seen that anyway), which wouldn’t make sense if a bot needed their forged frame in order to be comfortable. That being said, it could be that sparks have coding that urges them to mould a frame, but nothing that tells them they need to be attached to the frame they moulded. So forged bots satisfied this coding when they were first forged, which then allowed them to be comfortable in other frames, whereas the sparks of cold constructed bots never got to satisfy this coding so it continues to gnaw away at them with the feeling they have a natural form that needs to be realised.
Alternatively, or additionally, it may very well be that some sort of physical discomfort results from psychological hang-ups that come from being a cold constructed bot in a society that labels them as knocks-offs/imitations/etc. To a cold constructed bot the idea of their “natural” frame may represent the idea of a life where they’re regarded as “genuine” as opposed to imitations. By contrast the frames they’re originally built with were given to them by people who commissioned their creation for the sake of serving some instrumental purpose, so possibly serve as a reminder that they were brought into existence to be tools rather than people. I could thus imagine a cold constructed bot developing a neurosis around their frame over the idea that they will never know their “genuine self”.
While I think that it would make a lot of sense for some cold constructed bots to think that way, I hope that we as readers aren’t meant to agree that a bot’s originally forged frame is their “true”, “good” self, since that’s ultimately what functionalism was all about. Thus while I do find the idea that Starscream has psychological and/or physiological body issues intriguing, this whole plot line sits WAY better with me if we’re also meant to interpret it in part as a metaphor for how Starscream’s overall identity/personality was to an extent “formed to the specifications of another’s greed”. After all, the people who commissioned his creation probably would have tried to force the rest of him to fit the role his frame was built for, and then after he joined the Decepticons he had Megatron keeping him in “his place”. I therefore want to think that we’re meant to interpret Starscream being reforged as not just a picture of what he’d look like if he’d been forged rather than cold constructed, but also a metaphor for how he could have been a different person overall if outside factors allowed it. That would certainly fit better with the ongoing plot line of Starscream’s struggles to change his behaviour as well.
I’m also not 100% convinced that this is what Starscream would have looked like if he’d originally been forged rather than constructed cold because it seems too similar to what he normally looks like. Sure, it’s very different in a lot of ways, but he’s still a flier of some sort, when he could have theoretically been absolutely anything else, and while his helm shape and optic colour are different, his face looks very much the same. He’s even got the same colours going on, albeit in different proportions. I think this level of similarity would make more sense if this was meant to be, at least to some extent, a reflection of Starscream’s idealised self, rather than a literal example of what he’d look like forged.