SZA got anxiety at the Met Gala and snuck out the back

SZA has been around for a while now. She has some really good songs, but other than that, all I know of her is that she gives hippie vibes being into crystals and that she dated Drake when they were college-age. SZA has been to the Met Gala at least twice — once in 2018 and again this year. She looked like she was having fun on the red carpet, but apparently that was not the case. In an interview for Mental Health Awareness Month, SZA spoke about her anxiety in general, but then explained that she left the party early because she “hated [her] outfit” and felt overwhelmed, going so far as to sneak out the back and find a cab shoeless to avoid being photographed.

SZA is getting candid about her experiences with anxiety.

In an interview with Finish Line Women’s Community Voices series for Mental Health Awareness Month, the 32-year-old “Good Days” singer revealed she left the 2022 Met Gala early after feeling “overwhelmed” and spoke about how fame and artistic pressure affect her mental wellness.

Speaking about social media trolls and how they impact her own thoughts, SZA revealed it’s difficult when hateful comments reflect her actual insecurities. “It’s weird sometimes, when your personal thoughts and feelings align with some of the things people say about you,” she told the outlet. “It’s hard not to fall into that weird hole of self-loathing.”

She also opened up about the “exhaustion” that’s followed her throughout the music industry, especially as a result of the “pressure of dropping another album” following 2017’s Ctrl.

“The physical exhaustion, the mental exhaustion does not come from making music,” divulged SZA. “But the exhaustion really comes from expectations, berating, and dehumanizing from outside forces. And that s— makes me feel like, ‘Why am I doing this? Why would I set myself up to be bodied like this on a regular basis?'”

Offering another example of mental health struggles, SZA said she felt “overwhelmed” at the 2022 Met Gala, where she donned a strapless magenta Vivienne Westwood gown with black latex gloves and matching boots as well as a large, asymmetrical hat.

“I hated my outfit. That was another mental health thing,” she explained. “You want to do your job, you want to show up, and all these people are excited for you to be there, but it’s like, ‘Damn, I don’t feel confident,’ or ‘I don’t feel comfortable,’ or it’s like, ‘Oh, if my dress doesn’t fit…,’ and then there’s all this weird comparison, and it’s really unhealthy. And it’s like, damn, some people, like Lizzo, can have a really good time regardless of what is happening.”

She then detailed the complex process of exiting the Met Gala without being photographed. “For me, it’s like, I snuck out the back as soon as Lenny Kravitz hit the stage because I was feeling very like, ‘Whoa, my anxiety’s going crazy,'” continued SZA. “So much so that I couldn’t walk down the main steps to exit. I took a cab. I walked like three city blocks with no shoes on…”

“I just tiptoed a couple blocks and caught a yellow cab back to my hotel because I was just overwhelmed,” she recalled. “I had too much anxiety to wait for my cab in front of the crowd, and take pictures, and all those things. I didn’t want to do that. So I was looking like a little dirty Cinderella running away with my shoes.”

[From People]

I also suffer from anxiety so I went into this expecting to feel really sympathetic, but came out of it a little eye-rolley after the Met story. I was with her when she was talking about general anxiety, insecurities, hateful comments, and the pressure of expectations and feeling dehumanized. I understand and empathize with that (in a general sense obviously because I am not a public figure). But her comments about the Met Gala rubbed me the wrong way for some reason. I don’t worship at the altar of Vogue/Anna Wintour and I definitely think it seems that the quality of the Met Gala fashion and guest list has declined in recent years. But I also think celebs still really want to go and getting an invite is considered exclusive and a boon to their image, etc. She could have bowed out of going. If she didn’t like her outfit or felt it was uncomfortable weren’t there opportunities to say so and potentially make alterations during the (likely) multiple fittings before the event? And why project and make assumptions about Lizzo’s ability to have a good time? If SZA hated it and we couldn’t tell, maybe Lizzo hated it and SZA couldn’t tell. Good for SZA for removing herself from a situation in which she felt uncomfortable and unhappy, but the whole Met Gala story just seems like champagne problems to me.

Even the caption here! If it’s such an ordeal, then next time don’t go.

Photos credit:, Backgrid and via Instagram

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14 Responses to “SZA got anxiety at the Met Gala and snuck out the back”

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  1. SAS says:

    Huh, i remember she got a few raves for her outfit. I can see the bust is small but between the theme and Vivienne Westwood often fitting like that, I never would have noticed. Having a constricted chest would definitely fuel anxiety for me though.

    Lizzo is an odd example to use considering she’s spoken about having significant anxiety issues herself. How about don’t make assumptions on people’s mental state based on appearances in an interview for mental health month.

  2. BUBS says:

    But how does a celeb tiptoe for 3 whole city blocks in that very noticeable dress and not get sighted by anyone? That’s some serious stealth escape!

    • Danbury says:

      Right? Stealthy escape in a giant pink gown holding patent leather boots in your hand?

    • girl_ninja says:

      Didn’t many of the attendees change into different outfits once in the gala? Maybe she did too.

  3. girl_ninja says:

    I don’t understand the reason to bring Lizzo into it the way she did. Liz has shared about her anxiety and they are different people who experience anxiety in different ways. I’m glad that she was able to get away from an experience that wasn’t making her feel good that night. I thought she looks fabulous but of course I wasn’t wearing it.

  4. SomeChick says:

    I can’t drag her for being overwhelmed and wanting to leave. it’s a lot! she showed up, did her job, looked great, and immediately wanted out. it happens to everyone (at least anxious peeps like me). I don’t think it means she should stay home in the future. that just seems harsh.

    the comment about Lizzo just came off to me like she is inspired by Lizzo – like damn near everyone.

    if I’m gonna choose a met gala story to side eye it would be Bella Hadid claiming it was only anxiety that made her leave the red carpet quickly when she’d initially said she couldn’t breathe in her corset. then she had to backtrack so as not to offend Tisci.

  5. JFerber says:

    Sza and Lizzo are good friends and Sza appeared on an episode of Big Grrrrls, a reality show Lizzo had. On the entire show, Lizzo encouraged her dancers to feel good about themselves, “Don’t dance your ass off, dance your ass ON.” I think Lizzo is really working on embracing the goddess she is. I think she has good people around her, too. I feel for Sza a lot. She’s got so much courage and she’s so talented. I respect her for being honest about her anxiety issues. She’s in a ruthless industry and it can’t be easy.

  6. MsIam says:

    I suffer from social anxiety and it doesn’t always follow a straight line or make sense. Good for Sza to follow her gut and get out of there. And if she and Lizzo are friends then she probably made the “good time” comment based on conversations they’ve had about dealing with anxiety. Maybe Lizzo has been encouraging her to just lean into it and have a good time and Sza wishes she could.

  7. Yup, Me says:

    Wearing an outfit that constricts your breathing can also seriously exacerbate anxiety.

  8. anna says:

    i dont understand the criticism. social anxiety is certainly not a champagne problem, it can rule your life. i totally empathize with her, the sneaking out of events, happened to me as recently as last week when i snuck out of a conference 5 minutes after i got there. i just couldnt stay. But at least i tried. Maybe next time, i will make it longer than a couple of minutes, maybe even- gasp- talk to someone. saying one should stay home is like saying just give up and be a recluse for the rest of your days. as if thats an option for anybody but the independently wealthy.

    • SomeChick says:

      you might even call becoming a hermit a champagne solution.
      heaven knows, I would do it if I could afford the champagne!

  9. BAT says:

    Thanks for saying this!!
    I thought the judgment was harsh too, sheesh.

  10. TeeMajor says:

    I agree with Peridot,

    SZA always has some story about how uncomfortable she felt but continues to go to everything, even the opening of an envelope. Its ALL she ever talks about, no one forced her to be there.
    As far as her dress, she should have made changes or not attended.

    Same old song w/her. I too have pretty bad anxiety but its not all I talk about “how uncomfortable I am”. “how I escaped” its one of the things that friends, family and co workers appreciate about me, I do not drone on and one about it.

    I just make sure that I do things that make me feel comfortable and avoid environments that trigger. the end.

  11. Honey says:

    Can I be petty and comment on how much I dislike her makeup?