PHOTO: Lauren Conrad Poses Topless, Dishes on Insecurities

The former Hills starlet shows some skin of the cover of Glamour and reveals why she was "petrified" to wear bathing suits in L.A.

Lauren Conrad goes topless -- and looks great -- for May cover of Glamour, but she hasn't always been so secure about her seriously rockin' bod.

The 26-year-old fashion designer and former reality star admits in the magazine that one particularly cruel paparazzo took away a lot of her self-confidence when he snapped an unflattering shot a couple years back.

"On (a recent) vacation to Cabo, I wore a bathing suit on the beach for the first time in years. Usually I'm just petrified," she says in the interview. "A couple of years ago someone zoomed in on my cellulite and it was so mean. I took it really personally. I haven't worn a bathing suit in L.A. in years because of that."

Judging by the cover of Glamour -- which features Conrad sporting a frilly white bikini bottom and nothing else -- she doesn't have a thing to worry about. And she has relished adjusting to a relatively normal life since her MTV reality series The Hills went off the air in 2010.

"During shooting, the producers would send us quick text messages telling us what to talk about," she says. "They couldn't walk through the shot, so they'd just text me, like, 'Say something quick about this story line.' That's why we were always checking our phones!"

But Conrad and her reality pals aren't on their phones that much anymore -- at least with each other. Conrad admits that she hasn't kept up with many of her former onscreen BFFs and flames.

"The show is what brought a lot of us together, and when it was gone, we didn't have anything in common anymore."

Maybe that's a big part of why she's managed to stay so sane and successful -- she's working on launching a new fashion line, Paper Crown, and is the author of three best-selling novels (her fourth book, The Fame Game, was released today). Some of her former costars were not so lucky -- we're looking at you, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt!

"The best way to stay grounded is to surround myself with friends and family who knew me way back when," Conrad says. "There's nothing like cleaning my mom's dishes or taking out the trash to remind me that I'm no different than anyone else."

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