I'm 49 and the shortest I will go anymore is 5 inches. I can pull off a shorter 3.5" length if all I wanted to do is stand around or walk. That length hits me on a very flattering part on my thigh, that is, until I sit down, then all bets are off.
I do think there comes a point in one's 40s where anything shorter than 3 inches for shorts and skirts/dresses does not look age-appropriate. It matters little whether or not you have great looking pins. Just my opinion.
It comes from the jabs RCC takes at me whenever this topic comes up--it goes beyond her simply stating her opinion. Of course, we are all entitled to our opinions. Just curious, though, if you don't know I'm in my 40s, and you see me walk by in my 2" shorts, does that still count? I can't be walking around worrying how old everyone is and if they're dressed age-appropriately or whether anyone thinks I am or not. It's really no different than those with straight hair who think we with curly hair should straighten it because it's unruly or unprofessional or distracting or just ugly. Or, those who think that we over 40 should head down to the salon for the Sofia Petrillo special (from the Golden Girls).
I'll reiterate what I've said in the past: showing too much skin is not a good look at anyage. The "too much" part is where we all seem to disagree. The middle part of my thighs is no different than the lower part of my thighs, IMO, and that's where my 2" shorts hit me--almost in the middle. I have trim, muscular thighs, not the big juicy thighs so many women have and I would kill to have, so that may make a bit of difference. I don't fill my shorts out the way a curvier woman does.
I'm simply encouraging the OP to do what works for her and her own personal comfort zone--that can be done without taking jabs at others. If society and its rules had their collective way, I'd be in a moo-moo and sensible shoes with my hair cut up to my ears "aging gracefully."
Of course, if one chooses to poke at the nest, expect a few wasps to fly out.
I won't address the other things you've said, but I admire your confidence to wear whatever you want.
I'm 28 and I have "big juicy thighs" as well as a big behind...I wish I had your body type so I could wear itty-bitty shorts. I just feel fat and I worry about looking slutty when I wear shorts outside my home, so I don't wear them at all.
When a woman has big thighs, they can rub together sometimes and that can be unpleasant. But I think women with long, slender legs can look good in shorts of any length. Lucky you!