Can't speak to Starship. With the shuttle, the belly of the craft is the primary drag energy dissipation device. In the initial stages the essential goal is to keep the force of drag matched to the centre of mass so that the ship doesn't tumble.
(I think this is why missing a tile or so is a big problem. A single tile will have the air fill the space and following air will essentially flow around it. (think dragging a cup of milk through a pool of water very evenly) Lose either a bunch of tiles in a row, or tiles on the leading edge then there is no cushion effect and now you have turbulence which makes drag; irregular asymmetry, which which distorts the drag, and the potential for burn through at the unprotected part of the ship.)
Initial reentry attitude corrections are done with the steering rockets. Craft has to slow down and get into thicker air before the wing's control surfaces work.
Remember that a lot of this is happening in VERY thin air and very high speed. I'm not sure how you would go about taking in air that's coming in at Mach 15 or so, then blowing it out through slots fast enough to make a difference. Seems like a lot of equipment and huge engineering effort for a fairly small gain. Just make the fins larger.
Slowing down faster increases the acceleration by definition. Ship has to be stronger to afford the additional stress. But you may ask, "It has to be strong for launch!" True, but coming in on its belly it has to be strong enough for stress in a different direction.
(The Atlas rocket, designed for 10+ G's vertically, couldn't support it's own tanks lying on it's side. They had to keep the tanks pressurized with inert gas to keep them from collapsing.)