When Robert Pattinson first hit the red carpet with his new partner Ariana Grande, the Internet went crazy. The “Pride & Prejudice” star looked completely different than we’ve ever seen him before. Gone was the scruffy beard, and in its place was a full face of makeup. The transformation wasn’t just on the outside, either; inside he had new hair colors, outfits, and an upgraded attitude. While we still don’t know exactly what happened behind the scenes, there are some theories that can explain these changes.

A New Look For A New Film

In April 2019, Pattinson started filming a new film, “Private Lives,” in London. It’s the story of two friends, played by himself and Charlie Heaton, who decide to document their lives in a diary. The director of the film, Patrick Suskind, told Variety that this is very different from existing Rob Pattinson projects, like the trilogy of films based on the novel L.A.by Edward Steed or the highly anticipated adaptation of “The Farlander.”

“The Farlander” was inspired by one of the first scientific explorations into alien life, The Odyssey, in which Ulysses leads his crew on a voyage to explore the world and try to understand why it is that humanity is the only species they have encountered. On their return, the crew discover that Odysseus has been usurped by his nocturnal visitor, who has taken over his household and is wreaking havoc on his well-ordered life. It’s a dark comedy about a man who attempts to return home after a year on a mission, but his journey leads him to question his place in the universe and in his own home. In other words, it’s not exactly the sort of film that will make you feel better about your body issues.

Novel To Film Adaptation

Novel to film adaptations rarely go as planned, but even when they do, they can still end up being interesting projects. It’s not often that a book adaptation turns out to be better than the source material, but in the case of “Private Lives,” the adaptation is leagues beyond its source. The reason? It’s because Robert Pattinson is one of the most talented English-speaking actors of our time, and he brings a new dimension of charm and humanity to the role of George.

The book, which came out in June 2019, was written by Catherine Scott-Harrison. She began writing the novel after taking a month off from working on the TV series “Top of the Lake,” in which she had played the role of Jane Clayton. She wanted to explore an underrepresented area of British literary tradition – the epistolary novel – and she chose to base her story on real-life events that took place in the early 20th century. As a result of her research, she became well-versed in the lives of Virginia Woolf and her circle of friends, including the Bronte sisters and the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Virginia Woolf was famous for creating a space where women could explore their thoughts and ideas with each other – something that was often frowned upon in traditional male-dominated arenas – and Scott-Harrison said that this was an inspiration for her story.

Body Dysmorphic Dysphoria

Last but not least, we have body dysmorphic dysphoria (BDD). BDD is a mental disorder, mainly found in adults, in which a person believes that they are hideous and is preoccupied with trying to change their appearance. Most people with BDD fear that they will never be able to look or feel the same again (hence why they believe that they are ugly and have no chance of ever being physically appealing). In an effort to reduce their anxiety, people with BDD try to change their appearance as much as possible through dieting, using makeup and/or drugs – all of which can result in problematic behaviors (like self-injury).

Pattinson revealed in a 2019 podcast that he had been battling BDD his whole life. Growing up in London, he said that his dad – a stockbroker – always told him that he was handsome and that he should never think otherwise. This made him feel insecure and triggered the mental disorder. He told Ariana that whenever he felt uneasy about his appearance, he would go for a run until he felt better. This is why he is now fanatical about staying fit.

With BDD, as with all mental disorders, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The key is finding the right therapist who understands what you’re going through and can help you work through the disorder. Your therapist may also prescribe you medication, like Lexapro or Celexa, or advice, like cognitive behavioral therapy, which can reduce your anxiety and help you feel better about yourself.

Although BDD is a mental disorder, it’s still a part of Pattinson’s daily life. He still feels insecure about his looks and has a hard time believing that he is a handsome man. Despite this, he has never felt comfortable admitting it to himself or to others. Now that he has, however, he wants to fight the disorder and feels inspired to do so. He told Variety:

“I want to be the best version of myself that I can be. It’s not about how I think I’ll be at the end of my life; it’s about how I am now. I want to live in the moment – be present in whatever I’m doing. I want to embrace my uniqueness and celebrate it.”

In the same interview, he also said that when he had heard that Ariana Grande was going to be appearing in the reboot of “Dark Shadows,” in which she would play a witch, he had been jealous. He wanted to play her romantic interest. Now that they are together, he gets to relive that experience from a different perspective – as her husband! In a way, he gets to live out his fantasies and be the hero of his very own story.

Whether you’ve been trying to change your body to look like someone else’s or simply want to learn how to love what you’ve got, there’s always someone who’s been there to support you. Rob Pattinson’s willingness to open up about his mental health issues and his fight against BDD is proof that we can always find hope. At least he’s now honest about feeling insecure about his appearance, which can only be a good thing.