Observer Woman tries to regain credibility?

Is the Observer giving its monthly Woman supplement a dose of sobriety?

As Dawn Kofie explained last week, the magazine is a disappointingly prosaic offering.

Aside from a few serious features, it is packed with fluffy stuff about clothes. Marie-Claire has pretty much the same concept of what women are interested in. I would have expected better from the Observer.

But in today’s Observermail, we get a taste of something a bit more serious than usual:

In the first glossy Woman magazine of 2007, we take a close look at female stereotypes – from earth mothers to fabulous mummies – and talk to women about what they actually want. We log on to the virtual world of extramarital sex without strings and introduce Britain’s best kept comic secret, performer Sharon Horgan. Also, in a hard-hitting report, we look at the evangelical anti-abortion laws that have put women’s rights back in the dark ages in El Salvador, as Jack Hitt discovers Vagina inspectors, police interrogations and midwives reporting on patients are all commonplace.

We will have to wait till Sunday to find out whether this represents a true departure for the magazine, or a temporary makeover. However, an Observer Magazine feature about Ana Carolina Reston is already online. Reston was the Brazilian model who died of organ failure caused by anorexia last November. She was 19.