You’ve seen “stance” used to describe one specific type of stance- a type that involves outrageous camber and a minimal tire contact patch. Maybe that’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word. But there are many kinds of stance out there.
Stance literally means “the way in which someone or something stands”. Like posture, it’s a very broad term. There are different kinds of car stance, just like there are different kinds of body posture. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, and some of them are just different.
To say that a car is “stanced” mustn’t be taken to mean anything other than that it has been modified/tuned. Lowering the car alters its stance, but there is a difference between simply lowering a car, and messing around with tire fitment and wheel angles.
To be clear, I am not saying that we should completely abandon all use of the word stance. We just need to stop using it to point to one particular variety. We need different terms to describe different types of stance.
Using “stance” to describe what the chart below calls “hellafail” is like using “posture” to describe someone with “iPhone neck”.
Here are some graphics to help tell different types of stance apart. I doubt that they’re 100% authoritative, considering that even in stock form, different cars have different relationships between wheel and fender geometry. So I certainly can’t vouch for their accuracy, but I think they’re a great starting point for discussion.
(Credit to whom credit is due. Alas, these have been passed around so many times, I can’t be sure of the original sources.)