Growing up, Kardashian says she idolized curvier actresses, both old and new.
"In high school, I loved Salma Hayek and Jennifer Lopez and very ethnic beauties," says the brunette, who was photographed for Allure by Michael Thompson.
"I loved Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren, and Elizabeth Taylor, I'd have to say, is one of my favorites."
So when Playboy offered her a pictorial, Kardashian felt confident about showing off her fleshier figure.
"I was like, 'OK, I'm proud to do this and to show people that I don't have to be stick-skinny to be looked at as a sex symbol, and to me that's not what's attractive anyway.' So I was all for it, although I was very nervous."
But once the pics were published in the December 2007 issue, Kardashian had a change of heart.
"After the fact, I said, 'I wish I hadn't done Playboy then' -- not that it's something I wouldn't do now, but because then I wasn't in the best shape of my life," says Kardashian, who was 15 pounds heavier in her nudie pics.
"I look back and say, 'Oh, my God, I was so heavy then.' If you look now, I'm so much skinnier; my face is so much slimmer; my whole stomach is defined."
While Kardashian wears a black wool Louis Vuitton dress for her Allure shoot, she posed for Playboy in just pearls, lingerie, and a whole lotta follicle-free skin.
"I am Armenian, so of course I am obsessed with laser hair removal!" says Kardashian. "Arms, bikini, legs, underarms... my entire body is hairless."
That was quite evident in the sex tape she made several years ago with ex-boyfriend Ray J, which Kardashian describes as "Not my most proud moment. It was humiliating... but I think I've done a good job of replacing negative things with positive things."
Among them: a hit reality show; a beauty, fashion, and fitness empire; successful endorsement deals; an upcoming autobiography; and plans for a home and accessory line.
It makes StyleList wonder -- is there anything Kardashian can't do? Well, maybe just her hair.
"Anytime you see it in a ponytail," she tells Allure, "you know I did it."
Can't get enough of Kim Kardashian? Visit Allure.com for behind-the-scenes photos from her photo shoot and check out her evolution from celebutante to media mogul.
In other news, read why Tyra Banks apologized for praising a scary-skinny "American's Next Top Model" contestant.
Get more on Kim Kardashian at PopEater