I have a large, beautiful aloe plant that has taken different types of abuse and the bottom, largest leaves are damaged in different ways. The top and new growth are beautiful. Is it possible to cut away the dead and ugly leaves and repot it to just show the beautiful, symmetrical top without killing it or it looking like a long bare stalk with an aloe plant on top? Thanks
The old leaves can not repair, so what damage is done to them is permanent. If these leaves were covering a stem, and you don't want to see the stem, there's no real short term solution. You could cut the whole thing near the base, and wait for it to regrow from there, but the regrowth can take over a year for a large aloe to look proper again.
Your idea of removing the lower leaves and repotting high is another thing that's worked for me, but cut the leaves a week ahead of repotting, so they can dry up and not cause rot. Be sure to leave some of the old roots (don't cut them off to fit the plant lower - you can cut some, but leave a few). The plant will root out higher up on the stem, and look fine later. I've done this ~5 times to one of my aloes, and it's still looking young and growing strong.